On July 8, Worthington City Council approved a motion to start an application for an American Electric Power Ohio reimbursement program for up to $150,000 to install charging stations at two of those locations.

Economic-development director David McCorkle said the city has been partnering with Clean Fuels Ohio for options on how to get the chargers installed.

“It’s really been a team effort,” he said.

Clean Fuels Ohio is a nonprofit organization that focuses on transportation energy and efficiency.

Andrew Conley, fleet-services director for Clean Fuels Ohio, said the AAA Ohio Auto Club office at 90 E. Wilson Bridge Road is the only location in Worthington that has an electric-vehicle charging station.

He said three locations for new charging stations have been identified.

The two at which the city would install for the AEP program are Worthington’s Community Center, 345 E. Wilson Bridge Road and a parking lot at 50 W. New England Ave. in downtown Old Worthington.

The third location would be Worthington Gateway, which has a working address of 7007 N. High St., according to McCorkle. Witness Group’s Gateway mixed-use development is on the site of the former Holiday Inn that used the same address.

Conley said the funding available through AEP would allow for the city to be reimbursed fully after installing the new charging stations.

He said AEP’s program already has provided reimbursements for about 30 chargers elsewhere.

Because it is a reimbursement program, the city would be funded after the chargers are installed, Conley said.

He said applicants must buy the chargers from one of two companies: ChargePoint or Greenlots. He said a third party would install the chargers and AEP would upgrade the electric service on its own schedule.

Conley said installing the stations is “very straightforward process” and timing would depend on how many requests AEP has pending. He said City Council wants to wait until the reimbursement program is approved to begin the project, but having everything installed by the end of this year would not be unrealistic.

Conley said the program has no immediate deadline because AEP will distribute the money over a four-year period.

ThisWeek was unable to reach Mark Berndt, director of business development and special projects for AEP Ohio, for comment before press time.

Conley said Clean Fuels Ohio has been working with Worthington for several months to determine how to get electric-vehicle charging stations.

“In the last three years, you can see some pretty significant growth,” he said.

He said the number of electric vehicles registered in Worthington has increased from 66 in 2016 to 119 in 2018.

He said this could be attributed to the number of electric vehicles coming onto the market because the price for battery packs are dropping.

“They are coming for various reasons and they are already here in your community,” he said.

He said there are three types of chargers for electric vehicles: a standard 120-volt wall plug, a 240-volt plug and a 480-volt plug.

Conley said the city is looking at installing two “fast” 240-volt or 480-volt chargers at the Community Center and two charging stations at the lot on West New England Avenue. He said the cost is estimated at $135,367.

Conley said up to four vehicles could be charged at each of these two locations.

Meanwhile, in the plan Conley presented to City Council on July 8, he said the Gateway site would be prepped for the installation of charging stations.

The developer would have to apply for reimbursement because the city does not own the property, Conley said.

He said the goal is to work in partnership with Witness to commit to installing the stations early in the building process. He said this would make it cheaper because no retrofitting would be required.