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Politics

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Coming to Turnpike Service Plazas

July 25, 2019 - 9:00am
An electric vehicle charging station
An electric vehicle charging station

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Wednesday his administration is ready to embrace Florida's transportation future and will add new electric vehicle (EV) charging stations to Florida's Turnpike service plazas statewide. 

Joined by Florida Department of Transportation Kevin J. Thibault at Florida’s Turnpike headquarters at Turkey Lake Plaza, DeSantis explained the state will add seven new EV charging stations from Miami to Daytona Beach along the busy north-to-south-running turnpike corridor. He spoke with reporters about how the new EV stations will benefit residents and visitors.

Proposed future EV charging stations include these:

  • OKAHUMPKA -- two EV Level 3 charging stations from Duke Energy

  • TURKEY LAKE -- four EV Level 3 charging stations from Duke Energy 

  • CANOE CREEK -- four EV Level 3 charging stations from Duke Energy

  • FORT DRUM -- four EV Level 3 charging stations from FPL

  • PORT ST. LUCIE/FORT PIERCE -- four EV Level 3 charging stations from FPL

  • WEST PALM BEACH -- four EV Level 3 charging stations from FPL

  • POMPANO BEACH -- four EV Level 3 charging stations from FPL 

(All will have additional Tesla Fast Chargers)

Current EV charging stations include six Tesla Fast Chargers at Turkey Lake and Fort Drum, along with one EV Level 2 charging station at Snapper Creek near Miami.

“When Governor DeSantis took office, he made it very clear his statewide transportation goals included technology and to take Florida to the next level. Today is the latest example of Florida embracing the transportation future,” Thibault said. “To make sure Florida continues to be a leader in infrastructure using technology, we must continue to make investments to adapt as technology and driver behavior evolves. Electric vehicles are on our roadways today. The Department of Transportation will work with our partners to ensure necessary resources like electric charging stations are available in our major corridors.”

The announcement follows DeSantis’ June signing of House Bill 311, making Florida what the governor calls "the friendliest state in the country for autonomous vehicle research" by establishing a statewide statutory framework. 

This legislation and others like it, he says, allowed the Orlando region to host the Automated Vehicles Symposium, which convened AV thought leaders from around the world and highlighted regional assets that make Orlando the hub for the autonomous vehicle industry. During that symposium, companies had the freedom and ability to deploy AV technology on public roads, he said, so conference attendees could experience the next generation of transportation first-hand.n the world and leading the nation in population growth makes Orlando "an ideal market for testing varying use cases and driving styles," according to the governor's press statement. "There is extensive infrastructure already in place for moving 75 million tourists that could be easily adapted to AV technology. Construction, diverse weather conditions, and varied city landscapes ranging from urban to suburban, make Orlando an ideal place to develop and test autonomous vehicles."

In addition to state infrastructure improvements for electric vehicles, DeSantis also promised to announce soon planned improvements to regional mass transit.

Laureen Martinez, senior director of marketing and communications at the Orlando Economic Partnership, can provide more information. Reach her at 407-242-3982 or at Laureen.Martinez@orlando.org.

Comments

It takes about 5 minutes to refuel a gas powered car. It takes about 50 minutes to refuel an EV using a level 3 charger. To fully replace the refueling capacity of a turnpike service station you would need 10 times as many charging stations as they now have pumps. Let me know when that happens. Until then I'm going to keep my gas vehicle fueled and ready during hurricane season.

Yup, current battery technology isn't good enough. Time for John Goodenough to top lithium ion.

From personal experience, I know that power (Electric) costs MONEY. Does this me if I go with an Electric Car, I don't have to pay to power it? Just asking...

Yes, electricity costs money unless you're powering your car using solar energy. Some Tesla drivers enjoy free supercharging. Even if you had to pay it tends to cost less for electricity. In South Florida we pay FPL about 12¢ (including taxes) per Kilowatt-hour. Assuming you're a moderate driver then you're going to consume 300 Watt-hours per mile. That means it costs you about 3.6¢ to drive one mile. If you had a gasoline car and it cost you $2.50 per gallon and you drove in such a way as to get 36 miles per gallon then it would cost you about 7¢ to drive one mile.

Daytona Beach, as mentioned is not on the Turnpike Corridor! Will there be a cost to the users?

Okahumpka! One of the nation's true garden spots!

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