ORLANDO, Fla. — Florida is getting almost $200 million to beef up its electric car-charging accessibility, and if future projections are correct, the state will need every dime.
>>> STREAM CHANNEL 9 EYEWITNESS NEWS LIVE <<<
There are 203,000 electric vehicles in Florida. But considering there are 19 million vehicles on the road, that is a very small percentage.
However, that could soon change. In the last 15 months, there has been an 87% increase in sales. That’s why the state of Florida is working on fixing what is still broken with the system across the state.
The argument over an electric car is that it doesn’t stay charged long enough for long drives and there just aren’t enough charging stations along the way, among other issues.
READ: NASA Day of Remembrance honors lost astronauts
Car manufacturers are coming out with more electric vehicles, and that means options for drivers and more affordability, but also that states need to start getting more prepared.
Assistant professor Javad Mohammadi is an expert in building energy and environments. He said the time is now
“we’d have a lot more EVs in different states, but it’s just a question of infrastructure ready for this,” he said.
READ: Past presidents, vice presidents asked to check for classified records
The answer is, not quite yet.
The Florida Department of Transportation gave its first update on the state’s EV plans since September 2021.
The executive director of Transportation Technologies for FDOT told members of the senate committee that EVs could account for between 10% and 35% of all vehicles owned in the state by 2040. That’s why FDOT is planning to build out Florida’s EV charging infrastructure, and funding from the bipartisan infrastructure framework
READ: Here’s the latest on Lynx’s CEO search
The framework, a priority of President Joe Biden, earmarks $5 billion over the next five years for state transportation departments. FDOT is cleared to receive $198 million in federal funds to build more charging stations and traffic-control devices.
The first phase of the rollout will target major interstate gaps, of which there are 15 including in Polk County. The buildout will take time. And even after that is done, there will still be some places without.
Trey Tillander says there won’t be charging stations along Florida’s rest stops on the Turnpike for now.
READ: Federal investigation into Southwest’s December travel meltdown begins
Telling the senate committee, “federal law currently prohibits fueling facilities at rest areas, a change to that rule has come up in congress, and so far there’s been no movement on that.”
The national electric vehicle infrastructure funding comes with some conditions. Charging stations must be built along predesigned roadways identified as “alternative fuel corridors” and open to the public, and must also be spaced no more than 50 miles apart from one another.
States are required to prioritize charging stations along the interstate system, with locations at least a mile from a highway.
Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, click here to download the WFTV Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.
©2022 Cox Media Group