Miami-Dade County joined local government partners and private sector stakeholders in March to kick off a planning effort that will prepare Southeast Florida communities for electric vehicles.
The group, known as the EV/Infrastructure Alliance, will assist the South Florida Regional Planning Council and its Florida Gold Coast Clean Cities Coalition, which recently received a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and will partner with the Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) over the next year.
Through this regional partnership, a plan will be developed for future deployment of electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure and vehicle use within Broward, Indian River, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Palm Beach, and St. Lucie counties. Electric vehicles reduce emissions, the country’s reliance on foreign oil, and cost less to operate than a typical gas-powered car.
EV/Infrastructure Alliance has created teams to address each of the tasks involved in preparing communities for electric vehicle deployment. During the next 10 months, the teams will identify opportunities to streamline the EV permitting process, work with vehicle fleets interested in EV deployment, establish criteria for EV charging infrastructure, prepare community outreach materials, and develop plans for a future demonstration project that will provide commuters with a self-service rental/car share opportunity along the US1 corridor in Miami-Dade County.
“We are looking forward to expanding our sustainable efforts with the use of these electric vehicles,” said Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. “Miami-Dade County is committed to supporting the environment, and this is just one more way of how we can become an exemplary first-class green community.”
This effort is consistent with the national Clean Cities’ goal of putting one million electric drive vehicles on the road in the U.S. by 2015 through developing a plan for reliable alternative fueling infrastructure at locations and corridors conducive to charging EVs. The electric vehicle readiness plan will complement the Southeast Florida Regional Partnership’s Sustainable Communities Initiative, which is focused on improving the region’s economy and creating jobs, an effort that is also hosted by the council.
The county has a longstanding partnership in these initiatives, having received the “2011 Champion for Alternative Fuel Vehicles and Alternative Fuels Award” from the Florida Gold Coast Clean Cities Coalition for its extensive use of alternative fuel vehicles and supporting sustainability goals. In fact, EVs are included in several initiatives of the Water and Energy Efficiency goal area in Miami-Dade County’s sustainability plan, GreenPrint, a community plan to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, cut energy, water and fuel consumption, and help develop a sustainable community for future generations.
The plan, which contains 137 separate initiatives, will result in a reduction of 1.5 million metric tons (mt) of emissions and an avoidance of 3.1 million mt over the next five years. Roughly speaking, 1.5 million mt of CO2 emissions is associated with making 144,000 trips around the Earth or powering 206,000 homes in Miami-Dade County for the year.
To get more information on Miami-Dade County’s sustainability efforts and to read GreenPrint, please visit http://green.mismidade.gov.