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Fostoria to install electric vehicle charging station

The cost of installation is being offset with grant funding through AEP Ohio.

FOSTORIA, Ohio — It may be a community with very few electric vehicles, but the city of Fostoria is ready to install its first public electric vehicle charging station.

Seneca County applied for a grant through power company AEP Ohio.

After a two-year wait, the city of Fostoria was awarded a $100,000 grant to offset the cost of installing an electric vehicle charging station in its downtown.

But, why Fostoria?

According to Charlene Watkins with Seneca Regional Planning, it's because Fostoria sits at the confluence of multiple state highways. 

"We're right on all of these state routes. So, you're going to have travelers come through who are going to need an electric vehicle charging station, and they're going to pull up their app and say, 'Where can I charge my vehicle?' Boom, right here in downtown Fostoria! You can do it here," Watkins said.

The idea is, with the charging station available in a centralized location, while drivers wait the 30 - 40 minutes for a full charge, they can pop into a locally-owned business, or enjoy the downtown art walk.

Though it seems a little early for a smaller community to invest in this technology, Mayor Eric Keckler said it's actually helping to "future-proof" their community. 

"Electric cars are here, and there's going to be more and more push for them. I'm glad to be out in front of this instead of trying to catch up, especially as we start to build and build and build the downtown here, with more things coming," Keckler said.

The goal is to begin the installation of the electric vehicle charging station soon, with the intention of having it up and running by mid-summer.