ORLANDO, Fla. — A partnership led by Orlando Utilities Commission was recently awarded a $500,000 grant to build an electric vehicle charging mobility hub in downtown Orlando.
The grant comes as part of a statewide EV infrastructure project by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection in which 26 other smaller charging stations were previously funded by $13.5 million from the state’s $166 million settlement with German carmaker Volkswagen over emissions violations.
The project is already on the way and the EV charging mobility hub will be located on OUC-owned land next to Ace Cafe. The site could feature up to 22 “Level 3” charging stations, including 16 fast-chargers for Teslas.
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Electric Vehicles can be charged using a regular 120v, like the ones we have in our home, but charging an EV with a “Level 1” charger would take over 8 hours in most cases. “Level 2” chargers are more common and offer 240v. Many apartment complexes, buildings and communities offer Level 2 chargers, which can take around 4 hours to complete a full charge. “Level 3” chargers are often called “Fast Chargers.” These charge a vehicle in 20 to 30 minutes.
This mobility changing hub also will help local businesses attract more potential customers because EV owners will engage with the local economy while they charge.
OUC, the City of Orlando, Orange County and Power Electronics are partners in the project. This project will be completed in 2021 and it will be one of the largest high-speed charging hubs in Florida. The hub will feature up to 22 “Level 3” charging stations, including 16 Tesla Superchargers. The six universal chargers will boast up to 350 kilowatts.
The price set for the Level 2 charging is 0.13 per kWh. The high-speed rate has not been set yet. Tesla’s chargers are based on their published rate, running for about 0.28 per kWh.
According to the EPA, the transportation sector is the largest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.
This construction will help OUC’s efforts to increase Central Florida’s EV use, which aims to reach 40,000 vehicles by 2025. This would reduce nearly 200,000 tons of carbon emissions per year.
OUC has installed more than 165 electric vehicles charging stations across its service territory, and an additional 104 Level 2 and 22 Level 3 chargers will be installed this year, making Orlando one of the top 10 most EV-friendly cities in the nation.
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The utility is currently working in partnership with the City of Orlando and LYNX to bring 14 electric buses for use along the downtown bus routes, and just announced the Electrified Dealers Program to expand electric vehicle consumer adoption by providing incentives and training to participating dealers and rebates to OUC electric customers in partnership with the City of Orlando and Electrification Coalition.
Orange County was recognized as a “top tier” performer in the League of Women Voters of Florida Summer 2020 EV Report Card as a result of OUC’s leadership in electrification.
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