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Volkswagen settlement funds Florida initiative for electric vehicle infrastructure

Governor Ron DeSantis announced $8.6 million in funding to strengthen Florida’s electric vehicle infrastructure Friday. This investment marks a step in the state’s efforts to provide accessible electric vehicle infrastructure while also protecting air quality and expanding the state’s charging stations by 50 percent along most traveled corridors.

“This long-term investment in electric vehicle charging infrastructure is a win for our state on multiple levels,” said Governor DeSantis. “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. I look forward to building on this investment and continuing our work to improve Florida’s environment and transportation infrastructure.”

“Florida strives to lead the nation in air quality and is proud to be the most populous state in the nation to have met all of EPA’s National Ambient Air Quality Standards,” said Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Noah Valenstein. “Through collaboration with sister agencies and the private sector, we are able to implement projects like these, that will protect air quality and provide access to charging stations in our state as electric vehicle usage continues to increase.”

“The installation of these charging stations will greatly extend the range for electric vehicle travelers throughout our state,” said Senator Debbie Mayfield. “Under the great leadership of Governor DeSantis, we are continuing to improve our transportation infrastructure while also improving air quality as we lead Florida into a new era of technological innovation.”

“In March of this year Florida became the largest state in America to meet all National Ambient Air Quality Standards, and the addition of these electric vehicle charging stations encourages more EV commerce across our highways, producing less vehicle emissions,” said State Representative Mike LaRosa, Chairman of the House Commerce Committee. “I commend Governor DeSantis for providing Floridians and visitors to our state alike the ability to charge their environmentally friendly vehicles at our turnpike facilities and for continuing to deliver the cleanest air in Florida history.”

“As the first member of the legislature to drive a fully electric vehicle, I know not only the positive effect these cars can have on the environment, but the importance of having a solid infrastructure to leverage their growth,” said Representative Randy Fine. “I am excited about today’s announcement for the commitment we continue to show to improving Florida’s environment.”

Under the Volkswagen Settlement, Florida was allotted $166 million to improve air quality. Florida’s Beneficiary Mitigation Plan, which was finalized last October, outlines how the State intends to spend the full award under this settlement. This Plan focuses on Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) projects, the construction of new electric vehicle charging stations and the procurement of electric buses for select school districts and transit agencies.

DEP has reviewed the applications received for the electric vehicle charging stations and has selected the projects to receive the awarded funding. With this funding, 74 additional DC fast chargers will be installed statewide. Combined with the chargers FDOT is 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. Each of the 34 locations will have at minimum 2 chargers each. This represents an approximately 50 percent statewide increase in publicly available DC charging stations.

For more information on Florida’s Mitigation Plan and project selection, visit DEP’s webpage at http://floridadep.gov/Volkswagen.

You can watch the press conference here:

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