Details of the electric vehicle legislation that saw Jackie Toledo and Andrew Learned stand side by side during its unveiling

Jackie Toledo and Andrew Learned, Tampa Rep. and Brandon Rep., respectively, graced the unveiling of electric vehicles’ bipartisan legislation. The pair has been sponsoring HB 819 and HB 817 together with Rep. Rene Plasencia. The bill’s versions are also in the Senate courtesy of Jeff Brandes, the Senator of Pinellas County. Its focus is to see Florida register a massive expansion in the electric vehicle infrastructure. According to Toledo, the legislation would encourage municipalities and local governments in electric vehicle infrastructure’s adoption and investment.

It includes an initiative that would offer local authorities a grant for the development of electric vehicle infrastructure. During the application of a matching program, the funding needs should be into consideration. It should have a 30% match, 60% match, and 20 % match for technical assistance, level 2 charging stations, and direct current fast-charging stations, respectively. Toledo thinks that it would mean a lot to Florida residents to travel from one point to another without having to worry that the charge will die during the journey.

Regarding how fund to raise the necessary amount of money, the proposal also has a recommendation. Some of the revenue from the registration of electric vehicles should go towards installing more electric vehicle charging stations. According to Learned, what people should be doing is getting ready for electric vehicles because it will be the only option sooner or later. He added that taking such a move would see the installation of the development of charging stations all over the state commence and the adoption of the green technology happen soon. He also sees it as a long-term development since when electric vehicles stop being the future and become the present, Florida will already have the necessary transport infrastructure.

The proposal also proposes a few responsibilities to the Florida Department of Transport. For instance, it would have to review research on upcoming technology and policies in the electric vehicle standards and infrastructure. Upon the review, the FDOT should then go-ahead to publish the best ones. Learned feels like the electric car sector’s current situation is more of the story of the egg and the chicken.  For one, anyone who wants to invest heavily in the infrastructure is discouraged by the small number of cars. On the other hand, people who want to buy electric cars would increase the vehicle to a number that will encourage the investors to be discouraged by the few charging stations. However, he believes that HB 819 and HB 817 would end this unhealthy situation.