Electric Cars

Electrify America will juice up the Ohio Turnpike for the first time

The chargers will be at service plazas, so you don't need to leave the turnpike to charge.

Electrify America

Right now, if you wanted to juice up your EV on the Ohio Turnpike, you'd need to pay to exit the turnpike, go charge, then pay to hop back on. That stinks, but it shouldn't happen very often anymore, thanks to a clutch new investment.

Electrify America, the Volkswagen subsidiary built from a mountain of Teutonic shame in the wake of Dieselgate, announced today that it will build multiple EV charging stations within the confines of the Ohio Turnpike. They'll be installed at service plazas, so you can grab some grub or just hang out with other random commuters as you wait for juice.

If you're a regular turnpike user, here are the specifics. Charging stations are planned at the Wyandot and Blue Heron plazas in Genoa and the Indian Meadow and Tiffin River plazas in West Unity. Electrify America decided on these locations based on where it believes EV demand will be the highest in the short-term.

It'll be nice to see more chargers dotting the landscape in the Midwest. Not every EV owner hangs out on the coast.

Electrify America

Thankfully, there will be more than one plug at each station. Each service center mentioned above will have a bank of four chargers that offer between 150 and 350 kilowatts of power. No car is currently capable of handling 350 kW, or even 150 kW, but it will offer a level of future-proofing that brings EV charging closer to time parity with filling up a gas car. Electrify America estimates that 350-kW chargers will be able to add up to 20 miles of vehicle range per minute spent juicing up.

Electrify America wouldn't have existed in its current form if it weren't for Dieselgate, weirdly enough. As part of its court-ordered penance in the US, Volkswagen established Electrify America as a brand-agnostic champion of electric vehicle adoption. The company has run ad campaigns and made efforts to tout the benefits of electric vehicles, in the hopes that faster adoption of EVs will help offset some of the environmental havoc VW's over-polluting diesels wreaked.

The company is on a tear right now. In April, it partnered with Walmart to promise 100 new EV charging stations at Walmarts across 34 states. It's also forged a partnership with Simon (the shopping-mall group) to bring chargers to 30 different charging centers. Its goal is to create a coast-to-coast network of more than 2,000 chargers by the end of 2019.

 VW I.D. Buzz: It won't be here until 2021, but we've already taken this electric microbus for a spin.

Tesla Model 3 Performance: Man, this thing scoots.