Florida picks up the voltage: More charging stations to be added at service plazas

Gov. Ron DeSantis plans to have 10 charging stations along turnpike

ORLANDO, Fla. – Florida will soon have more charging stations for electric cars.

Gov. Ron DeSantis made the announcement Wednesday, saying he intends to add more electric vehicle charging stations throughout the state.

“The development of charging infrastructure is essential to increasing the number of electric vehicles on our streets so this is a good development here at the turnpike,” DeSantis said at Florida Turnpike headquarters.

There are currently only three charging stations along the major highway, including one at the Turkey Lake Plaza in Central Florida. 

The plan is to increase that total to 10, making them available along the turnpike. 

The governor said he expects the State Department of Transportation to follow the momentum, and work with private firms to install more charging stations along exits of other major interstates in Florida.

Frank Delzingaro has had his electric car for two years and uses the charging station at the Turkey Lake Plaza often. He said this initiative is good news for drivers of electric vehicles and will hopefully push people toward the environmentally-friendly alternative.

“I love it, [it’s] a lot better. I don’t have to pay for gas, don’t have to worry about gas prices,” he said.

Delzingaro commutes from his home in Mount Dora and has few options to charge up his vehicle.

“The more you have, the more convenient is it to stop,” he said.

To fund this initiative, the governor said he plans to use about $25 million from a 2018 Volkswagon settlement. The multi-state settlement allocated $166 million to Florida to help improve air quality. The state is also looking into using Volkswagon settlement funds to help switch over public transit and school buses to using cleaner fuel.

Construction on the new electric vehicle charging stations is expected to begin at the end of 2019.