One location in Youngstown is a bit closer to the future as it embraces the term “Voltage Valley” with help from a member electrical contractor.
MG Electric installed three charging stations in Youngstown for electric vehicles, or EVs, at WRTA’s administration location on Mahoning Avenue.
There are three, dual-port chargers that will “charge any type of electrical vehicle,” said Mark Gentile, owner of MG Electric.
Teslas need an adapter to use the chargers.
The stations were installed in December and were on the network, ready to work in January, said Matthew Kotanchek, director of maintenance for WRTA.
The project was funded through a $30,000 grant from the Ohio EPA Volkswagon mitigation fund, Kotanchek said.
From designing to bidding to building, the process took about 90 days, said Michael Johnston, project manager and estimator for MG Electric.
Since January, there has been a steady increase of EV owners using the stations each month, Kotanchek said.
The charging stations are part of a national network for Charge Point, which tells a person where the closest charging stations are located.
Calling on MG for EVs
This isn’t the electric company’s first foray into EV charging stations.
Through the calls they’ve had installing the charging stations, Johnston said MG Electric electricians are becoming more comfortable working on them.
“We’ve done enough of them that we know what the customer’s expectations are, what the expectations of the equipment supplier are,” Johnston said.
In fact, Gentile said he’s “seen a couple more charging stations over the last few months,” referring to the number of customers calling on the company to install them.
It’s a trend he expects to increase over the next several years as not only the Mahoning Valley shifts to EVs, but also the nation.
Johnston explained that EV owners pay for the charge through an app on their phone.
“It’s amazing how futuristic and ahead of the curve this technology is,” Gentile said.
The charging stations at WRTA are open to the public during business hours.
MG Electric is a member contractor of NECA-IBEW Electricians, an association of signatory electrical contractors and IBEW Local 64 in Youngstown and IBEW Local 573 in Warren.