COLUMBUS, Ohio — As the automotive and trucking industries begin to shift toward alternative fuels, DriveOhio is touting a plan that they say will help make the transition smoother for all involved.
Building on the Ohio electric vehicle (EV) charging strategy released last year, the report details how to move the freight and logistics industries into the use of EVs.
“Ohio is the crossroads of America; we rank second in intermodal logistics facilities and sixth in volume of freight moving in and out of our state,” said Executive Director of DriveOhio Howard Wood.
“As the auto industry continues to make major investments in electric vehicles and the infrastructure that powers them, we must be ready to pivot and adapt to a changing domestic and global economy. Working with the freight and logistics industry, this study adds important data to the electrification conversation as this ecosystem continues to mature in Ohio and across the nation.”
In the report, vehicles were grouped into categories – terminal and off-road, last-mile delivery, local freight and drayage, and regional and long-haul – and feedback was collected from those in the industry who have already begun to use EVs as part of their fleets.
Collectively, UPS, FedEx, DHL, Bimbo Bakeries, PITT Ohio, Firefly Transportation Services (now Lazer Spot Inc.), and R&L Carriers cite increased safety, reduced carbon emissions, driver preference, and a competitive edge and job creation as reasons to electrify their fleet operations, according to DriveOhio.
“Ohio is focused on maintaining its position as a manufacturing leader,” said Jack Marchbanks, Ohio Department of Transportation director. “The viability, pace, and ultimate success of transitioning the freight sector to electric vehicles will require collaboration across all levels of government and private industry. Ohio has an opportunity to help lead the shift to a 21st century transportation economy.”
Looking to the future, DriveOhio’s Freight Electrification Study suggests that government and industry leaders work together to ensure that there is reliable charging infrastructure, timely utility coordination and standard electricity prices.
“The opportunities in Ohio for employment as an electrician are unparalleled,” said Dan Spurgeon, vice president for Service and Special Projects at The Superior Group, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. “EV infrastructure, beneficial electrification, data warehousing, and utility-scale solar projects currently being constructed represent a massive quantity of labor hours.”