The Cov moves toward future with electric vehicle chargers

Federal grant to provide bulk of $600K investment at four garages, parking lots

COVINGTON, Ky. – Covington is about to make it more feasible for drivers to own electric vehicles with the pending installation of charging stations at four locations in the city.

The City, through the Covington Motor Vehicle Parking Authority, is putting up $100,000 to match a $500,000 federal Carbon Reduction Funds grant funneled through the OKI Regional Council of Governments.

Covington will use the money to install a combination of Level 2 and Level 3 (faster) vehicle chargers for paid use at:

  • RiverCenter Garage, 10 Rivercenter Blvd.
  • Midtown Garage, 25 E. Fifth St.
  • The Pershing Lot in MainStrasse Village, between West 7th Street and Pershing Avenue a block east of Main Street.
  • On-street on Philadelphia Street near Fifth Street.

City leaders said the EV infrastructure will move Covington further down the path of being a 21st Century community even as it benefits the environment by reducing carbon emissions.

“This grant will get the Parking Authority in the game of E-charging, increase the functionality of our lots and garages, better establish Covington as a destination for travelers, and make EV possible for more residents,” said Kyle Snyder, who wrote the grant application as Covington’s Infrastructure Development Specialist and executive director of its Parking Authority. “It makes me happy when we can do something green for the city.”

Snyder said the City would move to issue a formal request for proposals for companies to provide and install the devices. Covington-based M&M Mid-Valley Services & Supply has provided technical expertise related to EV charging technology during the process.

How soon the devices can be installed will depend on several factors, including supply chain availability, he said. The number of devices and what levels at each location is still being worked out and will depend in part on cost.

The fees for each device will be set to cover the cost of electricity and maintenance.

Currently, EV chargers are available in Covington at Hotel Covington, Marriott at RiverCenter, and the John R. Green garage.

Snyder said Covington based the four new locations on where it received inquiries from residents for EV infrastructure and where it would be most accessible for visitors. The City is applying for additional grants that would allow more locations to be equipped. Long term, the City hopes to create solar infrastructure to cut the power needs of the charging stations.

Those decisions will be guided by data the federal government will collect on the new devices’ usage. As more electric vehicles are sold, the demand for charging stations will only grow, Snyder said.

Improvement needed

Covington’s new infrastructure fills a gap in Kentucky. Comparatively, the Commonwealth fares poorly compared to other states when it comes to EV infrastructure.

The Bluegrass State scored 5.5 out of 100 and was fifth from the bottom among states in the 2023 State Transportation Electrification Scorecard published by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. EV charging infrastructure planning and goal setting is one of the policy areas measured, with another being the implementation of that infrastructure.

Meanwhile, a December 2020 Consumer Reports survey named “not enough public charging stations” as the single-biggest factor holding people back from buying or leasing an electric vehicle. It was named by 48 percent of respondents.


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