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Rulli bill seeks to power Ohio’s EV revolution

State Sen. Michael Rulli introduced a proposal to provide $15 million to help automakers transition into electric vehicle manufacturing and $10 million in educational grants to create a workforce prepared for the industry.

Rulli, R-Salem, said he’s seen the “devastating impact” the March 2019 shutdown of the General Motors plant in Lordstown has had, and the state needs to focus on the future with electric vehicles.

“This is a major piece of the puzzle for Ohio to be the center, the heartbeat, of the American electric revolution,” he said Wednesday in announcing the bill at the Ohio Chamber of Commerce office in Columbus.

Rulli said his proposal, the Accelerating Ohio’s Auto Industry bill, also will create a state task force to provide guidance to the EV market and would spur investment in charging stations by updating regulations.

“The ugly truth in America is we have no infrastructure for the EV revolution,” he said. “That needs to change in Ohio.”

With GM and LG Energy Solution building a $2.3 billion EV battery-cell factory and Lordstown Motors at the former GM plant, both in Lordstown, Rulli said electric vehicle and parts manufacturing can help revitalize the Mahoning Valley.

Automakers plan to invest $330 billion by 2025 to transition to electric vehicles, and Rulli said he wants as much of that as possible to come to Ohio.

Steve Stivers, the chamber’s president and CEO, said Ohio won’t get all $330 billion, but “we want to make Ohio competitive for it.”

He added: “As new businesses come and grow here, we know electric vehicle infrastructure will be a key component as they decide where to invest. We want Ohio to be part of those conversations.”

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