LIMA — With the advancement of technology evident in the transportation industry with the onset of electric and autonomous vehicles, there will continue to be a need for fuel and refineries in our region.
According to a prediction from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), petroleum based fuels will continue to fuel the majority of vehicles through 2050.
Marathon Petroleum Company, based in Findlay, maintains it is well-positioned to remain a successful company into the future, believing that petroleum-based fuels will continue to fuel the vast majority of vehicles.
Kim Guttormson, of Husky Energy at the Lima Refinery, believes hydrocarbons will play a critical role in supplying energy for quite some time, which “includes demand for gasoline and diesel.”
Speedway gas stations, owned by Marathon Petroleum Company, have looked into the possibility of chargers for electric vehicles at their stores, “but we have not seen a level of customer demand that would justify them at this time,” said Jamal Kheiry, communications manager at Marathon Petroleum Corporation.
Currently there are 19 electric vehicle charging stations within a 30 mile radius of Lima. To find out locations of charging stations, visit AFDC.gov (alternative fuels database).
“What you’ll see when you go in there is essentially an inadequate supply of electric vehicle charging stations to really promote the adoption of electric vehicles,” said Ryan Houk, distribution projects manager at AEP Ohio. “It’s one of those, what comes first, the chicken or the egg? The electric vehicle, and then the charging station follows, or does the charging station lead the way? I don’t think there is a clear answer as to how that goes. What I can tell you is that AEP Ohio will be launching a program soon that will incentivize the installation of electric vehicle charging stations.”
AEP Ohio is looking to incentivize a Level II charging station and a Level 1 charging station.
The Level 2 charging station operates on 220 volt service, much like a household dryer outlet. The Level 2 charging station will give you between 10 and 30 miles per hour of charge.
The Level 1 charging station operates on a 110 volt, essentially any plug you see can be a Level 1. The Level 1 station gives you about three to five miles per hour of charge, so for every hour you have it plugged in you get three to five miles.
“However the Level 2 station gives you a lot more flexibility in terms of how you can charge and how long you need to be plugged in. That could require an electrician to come out if you don’t have 220 volt service into your garage,” said Houk.
Owners of electric vehicles could essentially plug their car in to charge while sleeping.
The second most popular choice for charging is at your workplace.
”That goes into the program that we’re developing,” said Houk. “We will incentivize 300 of these Level 2 stations and those stations are split up. Half are allocated towards work places, 30 percent are allocated towards being publicly accessible and then 20 percent are targeted toward multi-unit dwellings or multi family complexes.”
Installations also will occur in areas deemed low income, said Houk.
While the expense of operating an electric car is lower than gasoline, the cost of the actual car is higher than a gas powered car. Houk has suggestions for those focused on the price of an electric vehicle.
“To fill up an electric vehicle is the equivalent of about $1 a gallon of gas. That’s a rough approximation on how to convert a kilowatt hour of electricity to a gallon of gas. While an electric car is operating on its battery, there ares zero tailpipe emissions. And then one of the areas that is kind of forgotten about a lot of times is the used electric vehicle market. So to purchase a used Nissan Leaf can actually be a very economical choice,” said Houk.
“Then you have other deals, so right now Nissan was kind enough to offer our customers a $3,000 discount from the purchase of a Nissan Leaf and when you combine that with the ability to recover up to $7,500 in federal tax incentives, that starts to make the picture a little bit better. You’re taking $10,000 off the price of the vehicle after the incentives. It starts bringing that spectrum down to a new opportunity set.”
AEP Ohio’s program will be released as soon as Aug. 1.
Reach Merri Hanjora at 567-242-0511.