Florida plans to invest $8.6 million to strengthen its electric vehicle or EV infrastructure – part of $166 million worth of funds coming to the state from the Volkswagen (VW) Mitigation Trust Fund established in 2017 established between VW and the U.S. government to resolve claims that the automaker violated the Clean Air Act by knowingly selling diesel-powered vehicles that did not meet Environmental Protection Agency mobile source emission standards.
“This long-term investment in electric vehicle charging infrastructure is a win for our state on multiple levels,”noted Governor Ron DeSantis (R) in a statement. “Not only will these charging stations promote reduced emissions and better air quality, they will also improve mobility and safety for the ever-increasing number of Floridians that drive electric cars.”
“The addition of these electric vehicle charging stations will not only keep pace with the dramatic increase in the use of these vehicles, but also help to reduce emissions and improve mobility across Florida’s transportation system,” added Kevin Thibault, secretary of the Florida Department of Transportation.
That $8.6 million will go towards installing 74 additional direct current or DC “fast chargers” statewide. Combined with the chargers Florida DOT is currently installing along the Florida Turnpike, a total of 104 DC fast chargers will be installed along over 1,200 miles of highway, covering the most traveled corridors in the state – an approximately 50 percent statewide increase in publicly available DC charging stations.
The governor’s office added that a total of $25 million from Florida’s VW settlement funds has been set aside specifically to install EV charging stations and that approximately $16.4 million dollar remains to install more charging stations throughout the state.
Photo credit: Florida Department of Management Services