Five new EV charging stations coming to NWI as part of statewide expansion

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The Indiana Department of Transportation announced Thursday that 39 new electric vehicle charging stations will be installed on the state’s interstate highways, starting next year.
Five of the new EV fast-charging stations will be in Northwest Indiana.
Those locations are Interstate 65 at U.S. 30, Merrillville; Interstate 80 at Exit 6, Burr Street, Gary; Interstate 80 at Exit 15B, Pilot truck stop on Ripley Street, Lake Station; Interstate 94 at U.S. 421, Love’s Travel Stop, Michigan City; and Interstate 80, Exit 56 westbound, Wilbur Shaw Travel Plaza near Rolling Prairie.
Ryan Lisek, program director for Drive Clean Indiana, said the Merrillville site would be at the Meijer store on U.S. 30, which already has a number of other charging stations.
The largest concentration of new INDOT-funded EV charging stations will be on highways near Indianapolis.
“Today’s program brings us one step closer to expanding reliable charging infrastructure across Indiana,” INDOT Commissioner Mike Smith said in a news release. “We look forward with selected owner-operators and contractors to build out the state’s EV charging network.”
INDOT’s program is funded by the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program created by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that passed Congress in 2021.
It authorized nearly $5 billion a year for five years, of which Indiana expects to receive nearly $100 million, to build a network of charging stations and reduce “range anxiety” for electric vehicle owners.
NEVI will fund up to 80% of the cost of installing electric vehicle charging stations and up to five years of operation and maintenance, the INDOT announcement said.
INDOT announced its first Notice of Funding Opportunity under that program last year and received 100 applications.
The agency plans to announce another funding opportunity notice later this year.
It said potential applicants are encouraged to register with INDOT’s EV Partner Directory and sign up for program updates at ChargingtheCrossroads.com
INDOT plans to have charging stations installed every 50 miles across Indiana’s major highways, each within one mile of an intersection or interchange.
Along with INDOT’s program, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management has been installing 61 fast-charging stations with funds it received from a national settlement with Volkswagen, which was penalized for trying to fool emissions testing with vehicles that violated emissions standards.
Lisek said about 75% of the IDEM-funded fast-charging stations have been installed.
In Northwest Indiana, he said, those sites include Meijer stores in Merrillville and Valparaiso; the travel plazas on either side of the Indiana Toll Road in Portage; the Aldi store in Chesterton; and the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority building in Hammond.
Tim Zorn is a freelance reporter for the Post-Tribune.

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