Governor Ron DeSantis today announced a plan to significantly expand Florida’s electric vehicle infrastructure by increasing the number of charging stations along major thoroughfares throughout the state.
“As electric cars become more prevalent on our roads and highways, the development of these charging stations is essential to the success of our ever-evolving transportation system,” said Governor DeSantis. “The addition of these stations will encourage Floridians to buy more electric vehicles, improve air quality, assist during disaster evacuations and ensure that Florida is prepared as electric vehicle technology continues to advance.”
Photo Credit: Governor’s Press Office
The plan will be funded in part by the 2018 multi-state Volkswagen Settlement, of which Florida was allotted $166 million to improve air quality. While Florida is home to some of the best air quality in the nation, this funding will allow for significant investment to reduce diesel emissions and expand the infrastructure for electric vehicles. Florida’s beneficiary mitigation plan for how the State intends to spend the full $166 million is now available for public comment.
The Governor was joined at the announcement at Florida’s Turnpike Headquarters by Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Secretary Kevin Thibault, Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Noah Valenstein, Senator Debbie Mayfield, Representative Bruce Antone, as well as representatives from General Motors, Tesla, Florida Power & Light, Duke Energy and other private-sector industry leaders.
“The Florida Department of Transportation continues to implement Governor DeSantis’ bold vision for our transportation system to increase safety, reduce congestion and embrace technology,” said FDOT Secretary Kevin J. Thibault, P.E. “This is an exciting time for transportation technology and our comprehensive approach for electric vehicles in Florida.”
“I was happy to join Governor DeSantis today in celebrating another step for Florida’s clean air future,” said DEP Secretary Noah Valenstein. “The draft Volkswagen Mitigation Plan is built on a foundation of innovation, collaboration and coordination amongst state agencies, and private and public sector partners, that will allow Florida to grow its clean air initiatives through maximizing electric vehicle charging stations and prioritizing electric and alternative fuel options for school and transit buses.”
“Today’s announcement on new charging stations along Florida’s Turnpike will greatly improve the ability to travel the state for those who drive electric vehicles,” said Senator Debbie Mayfield. “Under Governor DeSantis’ leadership, we are continuing to improve our transportation infrastructure while at the same time improving air quality as we lead Florida into a new era of technological innovation.”
“I was happy to join Governor DeSantis at today’s announcement to highlight the strides Florida is taking to strengthen our transportation infrastructure,” said Representative Bruce Antone. “These new charging stations will benefit Floridians who drive electric cars and promote Florida as a leader in this industry to private-sector companies looking to do business in our state.”
“General Motors applauds Governor DeSantis for his leadership and commitment to allocate nearly $25 million to light duty EV charging infrastructure across Florida,” said Mike Ableson, Vice President of Electric Vehicle Charging and Infrastructure, General Motors. “This is a meaningful step forward in helping us realize an all-electric future as we work to achieve our vision of a world with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion.”
“Duke Energy is thrilled to be a part of Governor DeSantis’ plans to support clean transportation on Florida’s highways,” said Catherine Stempien, President, Duke Energy Florida. “Today’s announcement is readily supported by our Park and Plug pilot program, which is bringing 530 EV charging stations to our customers and communities. We’re focused on providing cleaner energy alternatives and appreciate his leadership on this issue. We look forward to more opportunities to work together in ushering in Florida’s smarter energy future.”
“We look forward to working with the State to make Florida a leader in the electrification of transportation,” said Eric Silagy, President and CEO, Florida Power & Light Company. “In recent years, Florida’s energy sector has made incredible strides in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which means cleaner air for all of us who call Florida home and for the millions of visitors who contribute to our economy. Along with our plan to install more than 30 million solar panels by 2030, we are committed to helping the state significantly expanding the amount of EV charging stations so more Floridians can enjoy the benefits of using electric vehicles.”
“Electrify America is thrilled to see the state of Florida support private sector investments in charging infrastructure along its highways,” said Matthew Nelson, Director of Government Affairs, Electrify America. “We are installing charging stations at 23 sites along I-95, I-75, I-10, and in the Miami metro area, featuring ultra-fast charging technology. Our mission is to provide consumers with the charging convenience they expect when hitting the open road, and we look forward to working with the Governor to realize this goal.”
“Funding from the Volkswagen Settlement presents a major opportunity for the State of Florida to drive private investment in transportation electrification,” said David Schatz, Director for Public Policy, ChargePoint. “ChargePoint is pleased to support the State’s plan to commit maximum funding to electric vehicle charging stations, opening programs to potentially double the amount of EV charging available today. With today’s announcement, Governor DeSantis makes clear that Florida’s future is electric.”
“Drive Electric Florida is excited to see plans for changing infrastructure to further support electric transportation on a vital Florida corridor,” said Peter King, Chairman, Drive Electric Florida. “With the release of the VW mitigation plan, Drive Electric Florida looks forward to our role as a resource to that effort for the benefit of all Floridians.”
To view the Volkswagen Settlement beneficiary mitigation plan and to submit public comment, click HERE.