Florida to install charging stations for electric vehicles

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — More than two dozen charging stations will be installed along Florida’s busiest roads, paid for by the state’s share of a U.S. government settlement with Volkswagen after the German automaker violated the country’s car emissions standards.

During a Friday news conference at a service plaza along the Florida Turnpike in Orlando, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the state will spend $8.6 million of Florida’s $166 million settlement on the charging stations.

In all, the state expects to spend $25 million for charging stations as part of a program that state officials said is intended to strengthen Florida’s electric vehicle infrastructure.

The first installment of funding will allow 27 charging stations to be installed along Florida’s major interstates, including the states two longest — Interstates 75 and 95.

Officials said more chargers will be installed as they draw down funding from the settlement.

“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,” DeSantis said.

The charging stations will help extend the range of the state’s growing fleet of electric vehicles.

Florida’s payout from the Volkswagen settlement is part of a $14.7 billion deal spawned by a diesel emissions cheating scandal.

“Since Florida is the most vulnerable state in America to sea level rise, transitioning to clean EVs will not only protect public health, create jobs, spur economic development, it will also help the state avoid the worst potential impacts of climate change,” said Susan Glickman, the Florida Director for the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.

“The investment in a statewide network of charging stations,” Glickman said, “paves the way for Floridians to enjoy the benefits of electric vehicles.”