More money is becoming available to help in the development of electric vehicle transportation in Florida.
Governor Ron DeSantis announced $8.6 million in funding to strengthen Florida’s electric vehicle infrastructure. This investment is important for the development of the state’s program to provide accessible electric vehicle infrastructure. It will help in the protection of air quality and expand the state’s charging stations by 50 percent along most traveled corridors.
“This long-term investment in electric vehicle charging infrastructure is a win for our state on multiple levels,” said DeSantis.“Not only will these charging stations promote reduced emissions and better air quality, they will also improve mobility and safety for the ever-increasing number of Floridians that drive electric cars. I look forward to building on this investment and continuing our work to improve Florida’s environment and transportation infrastructure.”
Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Secretary Kevin Thibault, P.E. was pleased that DeSantis made this announcement. “Florida is advancing emerging transportation alternatives to build an infrastructure that will prepare us for decades to come. The addition of these electric vehicle charging stations will not only keep pace with the dramatic increase in the use of these vehicles, but also help to reduce emissions and improve mobility across Florida’s transportation system,” he said.
“Florida strives to lead the nation in air quality and is proud to be the most populous state in the nation to have met all of EPA’s National Ambient Air Quality Standards,” said Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Noah Valenstein. “Through collaboration with sister agencies and the private sector, we are able to implement projects like these, that will protect air quality and provide access to charging stations in our state as electric vehicle usage continues to increase.”
Under the Volkswagen Settlement, Florida was allotted $166 million to improve air quality. Florida’s Beneficiary Mitigation Plan, which was finalized last October, outlines how the State intends to spend the full award under this settlement. This Plan focuses on Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) projects, the construction of new electric vehicle charging stations and the procurement of electric buses for select school districts and transit agencies.
DEP has reviewed the applications received for the electric vehicle charging stations and has selected the projects to receive the awarded funding. With this funding, 74 additional DC fast chargers will be installed statewide. Combined with the chargers FDOT is installing along the Florida Turnpike, a total of 104 DC fast chargers will be installed along over 1,200 miles of highway, covering the most traveled corridors in the state. Each of the 34 locations will have at minimum 2 chargers each. This represents an approximately 50 percent statewide increase in publicly available DC charging stations.