Featured image: BROOKE CROTHERS
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced last week that the state will receive 74 new DC fast chargers for electric vehicles, funded by money from a settlement against Volkswagen for violating the Clean Air Act.
This expansion of electric vehicle charging infrastructure will require an investment of $8.5 million, which is only a small part of the $166 million settlement that Florida received as a result of Volkswagen’s violation of the Clean Air Act.
These settlements resolve allegations that Volkswagen violated the Clean Air Act (“CAA”) by the sale of approximately 590,000 model year 2009 to 2016 diesel motor vehicles equipped with “defeat devices.” The EPA alleged that these vehicles are equipped with defeat devices in the form of computer software designed to cheat on federal emissions tests. The major excess pollutant at issue, in this case, is oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and is a serious health concern.
Tesla will be the main beneficiary of the deal to expand the charging infrastructure for electric vehicles since most of the infrastructure will consist of Tesla supercharger stations extending 1,200 miles on state evacuation routes and major I-75, I-4 and I-95 highways -- increasing the presence of public charging stations about 15%.
Source: Road Tripping With a Tesla
“While the coronavirus pandemic has caused some delay, I am pleased to be able to announce today that after developing and submitting a plan to the trustees of the settlement funds, getting that plan approved and then completing the planning and procurement process. We are now ready to award over $8.5 million in contracts to build 74 additional fast electric charging stations belongs to Florida has major highways and evacuation routes,” DeSantis said.
De Santis said charging stations are likely to be completed within a few weeks.
Tesla officials also joined the press conference as Tesla Superchargers will receive a major share in this expansion of electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
The governor said that over the past 9 years, the purchase of electric vehicles in Florida has increased 10 times, and the state expects this trend to continue.
"In terms of the Volkswagen settlement limit, the amount of funds that we can use on the EV infrastructure to 15% of the total $ 166 million, so we can use about $ 25 million, that means that this initial $ 8.5 million investment is one chunk but we do have more money that we can use for EV infrastructure and we're really looking to do that," DeSantis said.
“The result of all this work will mean electric car owners will not have to worry about where they will be able to charge their car when using our major highway and this is important, obviously for travel normally, but also critically for hurricane evacuation,” he continued.