By Jodie Wagner via The Palm Beach Post | October 5, 2020 | Click here to view the original article.
Florida’s largest electric utility launched its FPL EVolution electric vehicle infrastructure program Friday at Mainstreet at Midtown in Palm Beach Gardens.
The three-year pilot program was designed to accelerate the use of electric vehicles in Florida by increasing the number of charging stations in the state by 50%, and growing the company’s 800-mile grid of universal fast chargers, said Anuj Chokshi, FPL EVolution's project director.
Mainstreet at Midtown is one of a handful of locations where Level 3 fast-charging electric vehicle stations have been installed in FPL’s planned statewide EV charging network.
Gov. Ron DeSantis also announced a plan in July to install more electric car-charging stations along major state thoroughfares such as Florida’s Turnpike service plazas.
The DeSantis administration will provide $8.6 million toward the initiative, which also will protect air quality throughout the state.
Additional FPL fast-charging stations are located at Florida’s Turnpike service plazas in West Palm Beach, Port St. Lucie-Fort Pierce, Pompano Beach and Fort Drum. The Pompano Beach charging stations will be ready for use by the end of the month, Chokshi said.
The stations are spaced about 50 miles apart, which helps enable long-distance travel, Chokshi said.
"We know that one of the barriers for EV adoption is the ability to charge and travel long distances," he said. "To do that, you need the infrastructure like the charging stations we have here at Midtown.
"These fast-charging stations are state-of-the-art technology that allows you to charge a vehicle in about 20 to 30 minutes. If you have a vehicle, FPL is pretty much prepared to charge it as fast as possible."
FPL also plans to install 1,000 Level 2 charging ports at more than 100 locations throughout the state, including public parks, shopping malls, large employers and tourism destinations.
Mainstreet at Midtown has two Level 2 charging ports in addition to four Level 3 electric vehicle charging stations.
The mixed-use development on PGA Boulevard west of Military Trail was chosen for its proximity to major roadways and its shopping and dining options, Chokshi said.
"This is the premier site for Palm Beach County, Chokshi said. "The great part about this location is you are in very close proximity to I-95 as well as Florida's Turnpike, and you have great amenities here at the shopping plaza."
Customers who charge their vehicles at FPL-operated charging stations pay about 30 cents per kilowatt hour, Chokshi said.
A typical electric vehicle, he added, costs about $10 to $20 to replenish a supply.
"Using FPL electricity, it's still cheaper to fill your vehicle even with today's lower gas prices," he said.
FPL’s chargers are universal, and compatible with any electric vehicle with a CCS or CHAdeMO fast charge port, the utility said.
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