Last week, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) announced 27 grant awardees for Phase 1 of their Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure (EVCI) program.
These stations will be funded with a portion of the $166 million granted to Florida in the Volkswagen Settlement Agreement. As Florida’s State Beneficiary, the DEP has been tasked with using the settlement funds on eligible mitigation actions that reduce excess nitrogen oxide emissions. In October 2019, they released the Beneficiary Mitigation Plan outlining how the funds will be spent, which includes $25 million (the maximum allowable) on electric vehicle charging infrastructure, $25 million on the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act, and $116 million on school, transit, or shuttle buses.
These initial 27 charging locations chosen for Phase 1 of the EVCI program will cost approximately $8.6 million, leaving a little over $16 million to be spent on future charging infrastructure. Phase 1 prioritized I-95, I-75, I-4, I-295, and I-275 because they are commonly used during hurricane evacuations, but future opportunities will focus on other major highways or areas that may have been overlooked in the initial phase. To maximize coverage, the eligible interstates were broken up into 40-mile long segments, and one applicant was chosen for each segment. Each station will be close to the highway and have at least two DC fast charging ports, allowing electric vehicle drivers to charge up quickly and get back on the road.