In spite of efforts by local officials to have this region gain a reputation as a center for electric vehicle technology, one of the major employers in the "Voltage Valley's" is letting it be known that charging an electric vehicle is against the rules for now at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station.

A message on the YARS website states that plugging an EV into an outlet on the base is considered theft.

“There have been instances of privately owned electric vehicles being charged at YARS by running extension cords from buildings to the vehicles,” said Capt. Robert Reader, 910th Security Forces Squadron operations officer. “This action is not permitted under several Air Force and federal regulations concerning security and safety issues and misuse of federal government resources.”

Plugging an EV into an electrical outlet at YARS takes electricity, which the government pays for, from the power grid.

According to the posting, the Air Force is still developing guidance that may allow for paid charging stations at installations.

“We are aware that the Air Force is currently developing guidance concerning on-base charging stations for electric personally owned vehicles,” said Jason Johnson, 910th Financial Management Comptroller. “But it could be a while for any guidance to be approved. So, until that time, charging your POV by plugging into a building is not allowed. This is a misappropriation of funds. This situation is identical to someone pulling up to the petroleum, oils and lubrication point and fueling a personally owned vehicle.”

 The only way currently available on the installation to legally charge a privately owned EV is to rent a family camp space from the 910th Force Support Squadron’s outdoor recreation office.

“We have five Fam Camp spaces that have adequate power to charge an electric vehicle,” said Jason Cohol, the 910th FSS outdoor recreation manager. “Those spaces are $15 a day to rent and can be reserved in advance by calling our office at 330-609-1501 on a first-come, first-served basis.”

According to the Department of Energy’s Federal Workplace Charging Guide, federal employees/owners of private EVs will pay for government electricity to charge their vehicles.

The overall future roadmap suggests the government will recoup costs of private EVs being charged at federal facilities through various methods that may include a payroll deduction or payments via the website for electricity used, according to the YARS post.

Cohol added, “Another possibility is that the Air Force and Army Exchange Service could set up pay-as-you-go EV charging stations at YARS similar to those on larger installations, but to my knowledge, no plans are in the works at this time to make this happen. But who knows, like is the case in many other instances, YARS could lead the way to make this service available for privately owned Electric Vehicles.”