In early July, Governor Ron DeSantis shared that in order to promote clean transportation, the state will install 74 additional fast chargers at 27 locations (minimum 2 chargers each) along Interstate 95, I-4, I-75, I-275 and I-295 using Volkswagen settlement funds over emissions violations. Following the Governor’s announcement of additional Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations to be installed on Florida’s interstate highways, the League of Women Voters of Florida is releasing its second annual report card on EV Readiness in Florida by county.
Entitled “Keep the Air Clean After Quarantine – 2020 Report Card on Charging Infrastructure”, the report shows the top-ranked counties for overall EV readiness are Miami-Dade, Orange, Palm Beach, Pinellas and Broward. Florida ranks third nationally for electric vehicle sales as of December 2019. According to the EV Report Card, 30% of Florida’s 67 counties have above average scores, demonstrating that they are making progress and preparing for the future of clean electric transportation.
“League members are deeply concerned about the health of our state’s environment and are committed to the enhancement of cost-effective, clean energy and transportation,” said Florida League President Patricia Brigham. “The transportation sector of our economy is now the largest source of carbon dioxide pollution in the United States,” Brigham said.
The county-by-county report card will be circulated throughout the state, sharing the information with county and city leaders along with best practices for expanding affordable and efficient charging stations. League members will use the EV report card to educate fellow citizens about the savings and public health benefits of electrifying transportation.
“One of the most impactful changes we can make right now is to accelerate the shift to zero-emission electric vehicles,” Brigham said. “With that in mind, the League of Women Voters of Florida adopted electrification of transportation as part of our State Program for Action and has produced this 2020 EV Report Card to measure how well Florida is facilitating the transition to EVs.”
Our local Leagues will ask county commissions and city councils to:
- Look into installing EV chargers on county-controlled public spaces
- Examine how to modify land development codes to encourage businesses with large parking areas, such as hotels, motels, and shopping centers to install EV chargers
- Begin purchasing EVs for county use
Despite the devastating effects of COVID-19, there has been a considerable improvement in air quality–pollution has dropped by up to 30% in many cities.
Wealth inequalities throughout the state play a significant role in EV investments and readiness. As the last column of the Report Card, Low Income, shows, the counties marked with median incomes below the statewide average overwhelmingly scored lower, and wealthier counties tended to score the highest.
“Keep the Air Clean After Quarantine – 2020 Report Card on Charging Infrastructure” can be accessed here: bit.ly/3hEocUT