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Florida Politics: House Primed to Pass EV Charging Station Expansion Study

Posted by Renzo Downey on Mar 11, 2020

Florida Politics covered the unanimous passage of SB 7018 by the Florida Senate as action moves to the House today, quoting AEE's Dylan Reed. Read excerpts below and the entire FLAPOL piece here. 

The Legislature is expected to pass legislation calling for a study on expanding the state’s electric vehicle charging grid Wednesday. That bill (SB 7018), carried through the Senate by Thonotosassa Republican Sen. Tom Lee, now looks for its final passage in the House before heading to Gov. Ron DeSantis. The measure would also allow the Department of Transportation (FDOT) to construct staging areas for emergency response, adds a “shot clock” for utility infrastructure permits, and create cases for utilities to cross rural land while protecting the environment.

Dylan Reed, director of Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), sees the bill’s potential to increase the state’s accessibility for electric vehicle owners; AEE is a longtime client of Liberty Partners of Tallahassee.

“What this bill tries to start the conversation around is how do we make sure there’s enough charging infrastructure so that if someone wants to drive from Tampa to Tallahassee, there’s enough charging infrastructure there,” he said.

Electric vehicles currently make up about 1% of the market, but in a few years, they could be on price parity with traditional cars. States, Reed argues, need to be prepared with charging infrastructure, so consumers feel comfortable to buy an electric vehicle...

Advanced Energy Economy is a trade organization that represents several advanced energy technologies with interests ranging from clean energy to battery storage. Reed said he believes Florida could become a national leader for electric vehicles, currently a tall task.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, Florida has approximately 16,600 registered electric vehicles, ranking it third, and 4,713 public and private charging outlets. Meanwhile, California leads the nation with 179,600 vehicles and 28,689 outlets.

“There’s a lot more that we can do in the state, but this is certainly a strong step forward,” Reed said.

As electric cars become more cost-effective, the next prohibitive measure is the vehicle’s range. Creating swathes of charging networks would help eliminate that barrier.

“We’re excited to see that the Legislature’s clearly taking up on this one,” Reed said. “They’re not ignoring an issue that’s coming up. They’re trying to lead on it, and that’s only going to be to the benefit of all of Florida.”

And during evacuations, having a complete electric grid could be critical for Floridians without conventional cars...

Read the entire FLAPOL piece here. 

Topics: AEE In The News