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Online tool helps communities choose locations for EV chargers where people need them most

OKI's David Shuey created the online electric vehicle charging tool.
OKI's David Shuey, charging his electric vehicle, created the online EV charging tool and is in the process of updating it.

There's a push to make sure the next local electric vehicle fast chargers are in urban areas, or areas that don't have them already.

The Ohio Kentucky Indiana Council of Governments has a way to make that easier for local communities who are trying to apply for grants for the EV fast chargers.

A web-based app, called EV Charging Station Locator, was developed by OKI's David Shuey in 2020. He is now updating it to include more information about potential usage in urban areas and places people are renting who can't charge their vehicles at home.

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"As we start to see the network build out, we want to be more strategic about placement of these across the region and making sure that we're not ending up with charging deserts in places," Shuey says. "And there's also a big push towards equity to make sure we don't leave certain parts of our community without charging infrastructure."

Local governments can use this app to put in their information, pick viable locations and apply for grants.

He says over the next five years, OKI's going to have $20 million worth of funding for EV chargers and there are additional federal grants. "So literally billions of dollars that are going to be flowing across the nation to build out the EV charging network," he says.

Shuey anticipates he'll have the updated app finished in six months.

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"We want to try to find out where the sweet spots are for people, that either need to charge at work because they can't charge at home because they live in an urban area; they don't have a garage, or they don't have electric compatibility to do that at home," Shuey says.

He says the original version of the web-based tool has already helped many communities get grants for EV chargers.

Ann Thompson has decades of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting.