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'We need charging stations:' Florida bill would help bolster state's electric vehicle infrastructure

Posted at 5:43 PM, Dec 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-13 19:27:44-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — While more electric vehicles are on the way in Florida, one state lawmaker says the Sunshine State isn’t prepared for the future.

The most recent International Energy Agency report on electric vehicles predicts up to 30% of new U.S. vehicle sales will be electric by 2030.

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Aimed at helping ready Florida's roads, Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) proposed Senate Bill 1230 this week. The policy would direct the state DOT to support electronic vehicles. Plus, it would create an annual $5-million grant program, allowing state agencies and local governments to build charge stations.

“That infrastructure isn’t in place today," Brandes said. "These are not like gas stations. We need charging stations in a variety of locations throughout the state.”

The grant money would come from existing hybrid and electric vehicle licensing fees.

Brandes said, given time, the hope is to have Florida’s most traveled spots, especially hurricane evacuation routes, better covered.

“I think we’re going to see a broad base of support for this," the senator said. "Everybody recognizes EVs are the wave of the future.”

Brandes isn’t the only one prepping for electric vehicles. This summer, the governor announced a plan to pepper the Florida Turnpike with new electronic vehicle charge stations. Construction was set to begin at seven of the highway’s service plazas before the end of the year.