Florida to Expand Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure

Gov. Ron DeSantis has a plan to boost the state's electric vehicle infrastructure by adding fast-charge public stations at 23 sites along major interstates and throughout the Miami metro area.

by Dan Scanlan, The News Journal / August 5, 2019
Shutterstock/Matej Kastelic

(TNS) — Look around — not while you are driving, please — and you may notice how many electric cars are in traffic next to your fossil-fueled SUV.

They all need to get plugged in for one to 10 hours to get enough charge to handle a full day or two of commuting.

That means plugging in at home or at one of the dozens of public chargers in shopping centers, office parks and restaurants, as any EV owner knows by checking chargehub.com/en/charging-stations-map.html.

But now Gov. Ron DeSantis has a plan to expand the state's electric vehicle infrastructure by adding fast-charge public stations at 23 sites along I-95, I-75, I-10 and in the Miami metro area. The $166 million in funding to do it is coming from Florida's part of the "Dieselgate" settlement with Volkswagen over its illegally modified diesel cars.

"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," DeSantis said. "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."

The Volkswagen settlement's funding will help reduce diesel emissions in the state and expand the infrastructure for electric vehicles.

There's also zero-emission news for walkers and bikers as the North Florida Transportation Planning Organization seeks public input on its draft 74-page Regional Greenways and Trails Plan, now in its final public comments phase.

The TPO provides research, planning, funding and safety initiatives for bicycle and pedestrian needs in Jacksonville, plus Clay, Nassau and St. Johns counties. The agency works with planning staff from those governments to ensure bicycle and pedestrian needs are coordinated in local transportation plans.

As a result, a network consisting of 540 miles of proposed trails across the four-county region was identified and documented in this report. Public comments can be emailed to edejesus@northfloridatpo.com by Wednesday.

Traffic of another kind resumes as the finishing touches are being put on the Joe Carlucci Boat Ramp at Sisters Creek after Hurricanes Matthew and Irma damage in 2016 and 2017, city waterways coordinator Jim Suber said. The ramp got new railings and gangways, plus an added 150 feet to its floating walkway.

"There's a lot more room for boats to be able to come in, and everybody is not waiting in a small space to get their boat launched," Suber said. "... This put one of the choices back in the inventory."

A city video tour of the changes has been posted indicating that caps on the piers and fender boards were all that needed to be done.

©2019 The News-Journal, Daytona Beach, Fla. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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