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Subsidies won’t dictate Ohio EV infrastructure

Electric vehicles, or EVs, are set to play a much larger role in our transportation future, and Ohio is well positioned to lead this transition.

Ohio already manufactures more auto parts than any other state, and it assembles more vehicles than any state except Michigan. Virtually every major auto manufacturer has a presence in our state or sources parts from here.

State policymakers spent 2022 considering proposals aimed at ensuring the Buckeye State has all the advantages necessary to be a global leader in EVs, as well.

One area of focus is EV recharging infrastructure. Not surprisingly, Ohio’s electric utility companies want to receive subsidies — funded by higher electricity bills — to build and own EV-related infrastructure. This would distort the marketplace and drive off competitors. Ohio’s electric ratepayers and the EV industry would be the losers,

while electric utilities would reap additional profits.

Providing monopolies with special subsidies would increase electric costs for all Ohioans, whether or not they use EVs. Moreover, stifling competition would result in artificially high prices for charging services, fewer charging stations, less innovation and more limited opportunities for Ohio businesses to enter the EV charging marketplace.

At the Ohio Statehouse, the Mahoning Valley’s Sen. Michael Rulli, R-Salem, has led the EV policy effort. Sen. Rulli is a business leader who understands the value of competition and a market-driven approach, and he has been a voice of reason.

The Ohio Manufacturers’ Association, or OMA, appreciates Sen. Rulli’s leadership. Our association also understands that the build-out of Ohio’s EV infrastructure is important to the fledgling EV industry. The question is who pays for it — and how?

The OMA believes competition must drive the development of our electric EV infrastructure, not market-distorting subsidies or government mandates on electric infrastructure ownership.

We look forward to working with Sen. Rulli in the new year to help expand Ohio’s world-class transportation equipment industry, while encouraging automakers and their suppliers to continue investing in our state.

Lindsey Short is director of public policy services for the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association.

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