Columbus Business First unpacks Bricker’s Energy Exchange event, EV charging station

Spotlighting the future state of electric vehicles both in Central Ohio and statewide, Columbus Business First summarized the recent discussion that took place at Bricker & Eckler’s May 9, 2019, "Energy Exchange" event. The event, hosted by the firm’s energy attorneys for industry professionals, focused this time around on electric vehicles and their potential to propel Ohio as a nationwide leader in advanced and renewable technology.

How electric vehicles could change Ohio’s power grid” illustrates that electric vehicle adoption and usage is on the rise in Ohio. A few catalysts to this increase include the availability of convenient charging stations, funding incentives for both vehicles and charging stations and decreasing costs of the technology. Locally, enhancing the appeal of “going electric” has been a collaborative effort. Participating in a panel discussion at the event were representatives from the Ohio House of Representatives, Smart Columbus and ChargePoint, all of whom described the importance of both public and private investment to continue development in this area.

At the conclusion of the event, Bricker tangibly demonstrated its commitment to supporting the growth of electric vehicles in downtown Columbus, announcing that the firm will install an electric vehicle charging station on its property this summer. Bricker is the first Ohio law firm to do so and hopes this endeavor will encourage other businesses to join the effort to advance this technology for local citizens.

Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Smart Cities

Bricker & Eckler becomes first Ohio law firm with EV charging station

Bricker & Eckler is the first law firm in the state to install an electric vehicle charging station on its property. The firm’s EV charging station, deployed by ChargePoint, will be located among several parking spaces at the rear of the building. Employees, as well as client guests, will be permitted to use the station during business hours. Outside of regular business hours and on weekends, the station will be available for public use. The installation of Bricker & Eckler’s EV charging station is scheduled for Summer 2019 and will be operational shortly after. Read more >>

Economic Development, Renewable Energy, Smart Cities

The Energy Exchange: Charging Toward the Future event May 9, 2019

Please join us for Bricker & Eckler’s biannual Energy Exchange event to discuss updates on legal and policy issues surrounding electric vehicles in Ohio. Featuring State Representative Kent Smith; Mark Patton, Vice President at Smart Cities, Columbus Partnership; and David Schatz, Director of Public Policy at ChargePoint, Inc., we will discuss the impact of the electric vehicle industry and the growing need for EV charging stations to meet the increasing demand.

To register for the May 9, 2019 Energy Exchange, click here.

Environmental, Smart Cities, State Updates

Better energy polices could help bring $25B and 20K jobs to Ohio

New energy technologies “could lead to $25 billion” in investment and 20,000 new jobs for Ohio, according to a Powering Ohio report from Synapse Energy Economics and Case Western Reserve University’s Great Lakes Energy Institute, Columbus Business First reports. The report says “[t]he changing transportation industry could bring major jobs and investment to Ohio if the state has an energy policy in place to promote it,” according to the article. Recommendations include “nine points of policy improvement, including growing electric vehicles and clean energy workforce and attracting more manufacturing, enhancing the grid and smart transportation infrastructure.” The Smart Columbus program “has been a major leg up for this,” but a larger statewide strategy for energy policy “remains a key sticking point.” For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Environmental, Smart Cities, State Updates

PUCO approves AEP plan to expand renewables, EV charging stations

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) recently approved AEP Ohio’s Electric Security Plan (ESP) that will allow the company to “expand access to electric vehicle (EV) charging and renewable generation,” nawindpower.com reports. AEP Ohio had previously committed to developing an additional 900 megawatts of renewable power generation in the state; the ESP “provides a method for AEP Ohio to request approval from the PUCO for the development of new renewable resources.” Additionally, a “program to expand EV charging station availability will be created as part of the Smart Columbus initiative.” Julie Sloat, AEP Ohio president and chief operating officer, said the plan allows the company “to bring these services, which also will support economic development in Ohio, to customers across the state.” For more, read the full article.

Economic Development, Renewable Energy, Smart Cities

Columbus turned $50M into $500M for Smart City through public-private partnerships

Winning the Federal Department of Transportation’s national Smart City challenge was a huge coup for Columbus (see our June 21, 2016 blog post), but turning the $50 million in grant money that came with the win into $500 million is “one of the greatest feats” the city has ever accomplished, TechRepublic reports. Investments from the private sector have helped Columbus accomplish that goal, and are expected to continue to bring in more funding, according to the article. Among the local investors: American Electric Power has pledged $170 million, The Ohio State University has pledged $64 million, and Nationwide Insurance has pledged $2 million. In the two months between the time the federal grant was announced and the application deadline, Columbus officials “were able to pull together $90 million in pledges from local businesses,” which impressed federal officials. Mike Keller, CIO of Nationwide, said, “[t]here was a high degree of public/private/academic participation prior to the grant and that made it a lot easier to come together.” For more, read the full article

Federal Updates, Smart Cities, State Updates

Smart City grant helps Columbus buys first electric fleet vehicles

The City of Columbus has made its largest expenditure to date since winning the $40 million U.S. Department of Transportation Smart City challenge (see our June 21, 2016 blog post): 93 electric cars to replace aging city fleet vehicles, Columbus Business First reports. Last fall, Columbus City Council approved “a $2 million lease-to-own deal” for the cars, with $1.7 million from a city income tax fund for fleet vehicles and $273,000 from “the $10 million grant from Vulcan Inc. toward reducing fossil fuel consumption” that was awarded to the city for winning the challenge. The city and Smart Columbus committed to “replacing 200 fleet vehicles with electric or partial-electric models, which are projected to cut fuel and other operating costs in half,” according to the article. Columbus will also install charging stations to be used exclusively by the city’s electric vehicles. For more, read the full article

Smart Cities, State Updates

Columbus gets approval to change plans for $40M Smart City grant

The app for truck drivers to reserve loading zone times is out, and prenatal transportation is in, after the U.S. Department of Transportation signed off on changes Columbus requested for its Smart City plans, Columbus Business First reports. Smart Columbus “has realigned priorities,” cutting some of its original projects and adding one after a year of study, according to the article. Research indicated that delivery drivers would not find the proposed app to reserve appointments for loading zones helpful. Bus collision avoidance sensors were also removed from the grant, based on data that showed The Central Ohio Transit Authority “had only six collisions with pedestrians or bikes in 2016, and all took place in low-light conditions.” The proposed sensors do not work in those conditions. Columbus added a “new prenatal visit transportation project,” which aligns with the city’s efforts to lower infant mortality rates. For more, read the full article

Regional Updates, Smart Cities

Columbus lauded as “punching above its weight” in its internet sector

A new study detailing “the size and impact of the internet sector on cities throughout the United States” lists Columbus as one of four cities that “punch above their weight,” The Columbus Dispatch reports. Columbus has 1,500 internet businesses — compared to the average city’s 600 — and 25,400 internet-sector jobs, almost three times the average city’s 9,000. Phoenix, Pittsburgh, and Kansas City, Missouri joined Columbus as cities chosen as “innovative models of how places and policymakers can evolve in the dramatically shifting economic and cultural currents of the past two decades,” the report said. Tom Walker, president and CEO of venture-capital and business-incubator Rev1 Ventures, said “the report is no surprise because Columbus has been focused on making progress in the internet sector for more than a decade,” according to the article. The study cited Columbus’s “victory in the Smart City challenge” as a moment the city “became known, almost overnight, as an innovation hub.” For more, read the full article

Regional Updates, Smart Cities, State Updates