The White House approved plans last week that will make available roughly $71.5 million for electric-vehicle charging stations in Florida during this fiscal year and next year. Florida’s Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Deployment Plan was among 35 plans that the Biden administration approved under a federal program.
“Making electric vehicle charging accessible to all Americans is critical to achieving a transportation sector that improves our environment and lessens our dependence on oil and gas,” U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said in a prepared statement.
The Federal Highway Administration said about $900 million in federal funding is expected to result in a half-million charging stations across 53,000 miles of the nation’s highway system. Florida’s plan outlines a network of about 6,772 public charging ports along 6,244 miles of highway, according to the White House.
Florida lawmakers in 2020 directed the state Department of Transportation to develop a plan to encourage more electric-vehicle charging stations. The state later designated $8.6 million to add 34 fast-charging stations along Interstate 95, Interstate 4, Interstate 75, Interstate 275 and Interstate 295 with part of money Florida received in a settlement between Volkswagen and the U.S. Department of Justice over emissions violations.
Meanwhile, earlier this year, a proposal aimed at expanding investment in electric-vehicle charging stations moved forward in the House of Representatives, despite concerns about state regulators being directed to set prices and work outside their jurisdiction.
The House Tourism, Infrastructure & Energy Subcommittee voted 13-3 to approve a bill (HB 737) that would direct the Florida Public Service Commission to propose rules by the end of the year to establish “competitively neutral” standards for adding electric-vehicle charging infrastructure, including “fair and reasonable” electric rates from utilities. The commission would have until Jan. 1, 2024, to adopt the rules.
CleanEnergy.Org reported that electric vehicles in Florida accounted for 3 percent of all cars sold from July 2020 to July 2021.