More electric vehicle charging stations needed in Cape Coral

Published: August 4, 2022 5:35 PM EDT
Updated: August 4, 2022 6:17 PM EDT

There’s a federal push to own electric cars to save the environment but in one Southwest Florida city, there simply aren’t enough electric charging points.

Now there’s a need in Cape Coral for charging stations.

There are currently only three charging stations in Cape Coral that the public can use.

The other ones in the city are part of hotels as well as a private Airbnb.

The ones for the public are located at FAFCO and Sutherland Nissan of Cape Coral and Roger Dean Chevrolet.

The charger at Roger Dean Chevrolet is considered a level 3, which gives people a full charge in 90 minutes. However, if someone is using it, you will have to wait your turn.

If you take a drive on Pine Island Road in Cape Coral, you see gas stations on every corner but not chargers.

“There’s a few apps that you can use to identify stations in the area. So the thing with those is, it doesn’t really tell you much details about it. So you kind of have to drive by yourself, see if they’re working,” said Jerica Manzi, who drives an electric car.

Plugshare is one of the more popular apps.

“We knew it, when I bought the car that, you know, if we traveled, we’re gonna have to find stations and all that. I didn’t know how difficult it would be,” Manzi said.

Manzi said she travels a lot between Cape Coral and Tampa and is considering getting rid of of her electric vehicle.

“As electric cars become more popular and more people are investing into it and the future. If Cape Coral isn’t up to par with that. I feel like that’s going to be you know, that’s going to be the hesitation there,” she said.

Electric vehicle manager Vinny Ciulla, at Roger Dean Chevrolet, said they installed it about six months ago.

“I mean, we had to, we didn’t have a choice,” Ciulla said. “Electric vehicles are going to be the future.”

Located at the front of the dealership, Ciulla said it’s available for anyone who needs it and there’s no time limit because they know the struggle for electric vehicle drivers in the Cape.

Ciulla said they plan to add more charging stations.

Ciulla said Chevy plans to be completely electric by 2035 so that means Cape Coral has to keep up.

“A lot of the electric stuff is new. And it’s, you know, kind of being pushed very heavily on us with the changes and everything with where everybody wants to go with the electric vehicles … but I will tell you they’re going to need to get a lot more charging stations out here to make this work,” Ciulla said. “I have seen several Uber drivers. Usually, it’s when we’re getting ready to leave at night, they’ll pull up and they’ll say, “Hey, do you mind if I sit here and watch a movie and charge for a few hours and sure, no problem.”