DeSantis signs electric car bill – the first since the start of COVID-19 pandemic

by | Jun 10, 2020

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed landmark electric vehicle roadmap legislation that requires the state to create a master plan for the development of electric vehicle charging infrastructure across Florida. Senate Bill 7018 received broad bipartisan support in the Legislature and was the first bill sent to the Governor’s desk since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Drive Electric Florida (DEFL), one of the most visible and effective voices for electric vehicle ownership and accompanying infrastructure growth, hailed the legislation as an important step forward in innovation and economic development within Florida’s transportation sector. The legislation points to the high priority the state’s leaders have placed on expanding electric vehicle charging stations to support growth in the use of electric vehicles.

“This legislation is truly an important first step toward more energy, economic, and environmental security in Florida,” said Matt Alford, DEFL’s Executive Director. “It will help make our state less dependent on imported energy while mitigating the worst impacts of climate change on Florida – which is the most vulnerable state in America to sea level rise caused by that climate change. I am thrilled by this opportunity to work with our partners in state government.”

The legislation directs the Florida Department of Transportation to work with the Public Service Commission and Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Office to develop a master plan for deploying electric vehicle infrastructure along evacuation routes and facilitating everyday travel on Florida’s roads. Together, they are to submit a set of policy recommendations by the end of 2020 and complete the master plan by July 1, 2021.

Florida’s transportation sector represents the state’s single largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Expansion of the state’s charging station infrastructure will pave the way for electric vehicle growth, which can contribute to reduced emissions.

“Florida’s economic and infrastructure needs continue to grow and change,” said state Sen. Tom Lee, sponsor of the legislation and chairman of the Senate Committee on Infrastructure and Security. “Developing electric vehicle charging infrastructure will create jobs for Floridians and may spur economic development even as the economy adapts to the long-term effects of COVID-19.”

The bill also enhances Florida’s security during natural disasters by authorizing FDOT to construct staging areas for responses during states of emergency.

“The start of hurricane season is Florida’s annual reminder that climate change is already impacting our lives, from our state infrastructure to public health. By moving forward on electric vehicles, the State of Florida can begin to address these issues, as well as reducing our reliance on dirty fossil fuels and creating clean energy jobs,” said Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez, an advocate for electric vehicles. “With innovative technology and community support, the road ahead is paved with opportunity.”


  1. Geoff Timm

    Is the state of Florida ready to build 200 coal fired power plants to fuel all these electric vehicles? FL has already shut down most non-polluting nuclear power. As for solar and wind power, the next hurricane will take that out. Geoff Who is skeptical.

    • jerry dycus

      Could you be more wrong Geoff?
      Florida hasn’t cut any nuke power. Progress/Duke broke one and the rest have been upgraded and life extended so why lie like Trump? ..
      Florida has almost no coal left and gets used less and less because it is too expensive.
      Fact is EVs and solar, CSP, CHP will rise together so no FF generation needed or wanted as costs too much.
      Solar at home was the most reliable power in a hurricane as no powerlines that caused most of the outages, some for a month. .
      During 4 days, 2 days before Irma and 2 days afterward the only vehicle that could get fuel was EVs especially Tesla with their 30 minute chargers. Gas car got stuck without fuel ending up in the middle of Irma’s path.
      This directive gives that to all the other EVs, 15-40 minute charging.
      The last 2 quarters TECO had to lower the kwh rate because solar drove down the FF cost by replacing it.
      Fact is EVs in the near future will have V2G that sucks up offpeak power and generates it for on demand power making money.
      My light 700 lb EVs have had V2H powering my home during blackouts for 26 yrs now and only cost $1/day to drive with it’s 1k lb load trailer.
      So keep paying more for polluting power and gas cars , I’ll and other smart people will be laughing all the way to the bank.

      • Geoff Timm

        Well then, I guess the TV news in Jacksonville lied to me. Two nuclear plants in NE Florida shut down, according to TV news.. Geoff Who is a victim of Fake News from CBS and ABC.

        • jerry dycus

          They were not shut down as a propaganda lie , they were stillborn as not needed trying to shove them down our throats and pay up front $26B for them for corporate welfare.
          You like that kind of thing Geoff?
          They cost 4x what the same power from RE will costs.
          But for homes, business can make all the power they need and more to sell for $.05/kwh or pay 2x that or make 2x that.
          Which to choose?
          Fact what utilities do doesn’t really matter as anyone can make a ph call and have RE installed now. Next yr the price will be 40% lower will be the long slow death of investor owned utilities as just not needed. Just a local board of a local co-op, muni contracting out the grid work, billing is all that is needed not unlike Lakeland or Seminole Electric that charge 30% less than Duke.

  2. Karen Schoen

    How do you power an electric car? Where is the source to generate electricity? Geoff is right. In a hurricane should I use my gas generator to generate electricity to power my electric car that is stalled on the highway because I have been waiting for 4 hours in 99degree heat behind a flipped truck or someone who ran out of electricity? Can I put my electricity in a can to use when I am stuck and my cord is not long enough? Florida has over 70% cloud cover on average daily. Great for solar… How do the windmills work after a hurricane takes them down or when there is no wind?

    • Geoff Timm

      This shows only 4 nuclear plants left in Florida, at three locations, none in my NE Florida area:

      Who is curious.

      • jerry dycus

        Who is arguing? Just what I said. The utility broke one.
        Between solar, wind, tidal, CHP, CSP, heat/cold storage, bio, wastes, synfuels there is no need for FF and eventually nuke as their natural lives end.
        Let’s put some math down. Next yr after incompetent Trump’s incompetent tariffs that killed the Ag, manufacturing and export industries are gone, a solar system costing $10k will power a home and an EV for 25 plus yrs.
        It’ll also increase your home value by $15k and make it sell faster without poisoning yourself, others.
        What is not here is selling on demand power for income and buying off peak power cheap the EV, home makes you money and replacing the FFs that poison us .

    • jerry dycus

      One has to note the similarly wrong post with Geoff. You 2 know each other or belong to a FF , ICE bias group trolling misinformation here?
      Sorry but Tesla will be announcing $70/kwh batteries this month and $100/kwh is the break even in new cost with an ICE..
      For power one just has to put up enough solar, about a carport size, to cover it’s use at the equivalent of $.60/gal. As EVs will have 200 or so mile range even a couple cloudy days wouldn’t bother and if low a 10-15 minute fast charge handles it.
      So my question to you Karen, why do you support FFs in vehicles or power that cut your, your kids, spouse, parents, grandkids life 1.7yrs US average from using FFs while paying more and $60B/yr subsidies?.
      And especially now when RE costs less for 4 yrs now?

  3. Chris

    Too bad they’re still pushing the climate change myth

  4. Rob

    Duke Energy pays ME a rebate each month to charge my EV during off hours (9pm-Noon during the summer months) so they don’t need run expensive peaker power generators for me.

    It is a win/win. Duke nets a reduced amount for charging my car when they aren’t selling much electricity and my net fuel cost drops even further below the normal equivalent of $0.90 per gallon.

    Instant torque when I stomp the throttle. Dirt cheap to operate. Takes me everywhere I need to go and I start out each day with a full “tank”. No more dirty gas stations. I’ll never go back to a gasser.

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