Commissioner encourages development of an EV charging station master plan

By Bernardo Escobar….
Miami-Dade Commissioner Javier D. Souto is looking to make Miami-Dade County a more convenient place for local electric vehicles (EVs) on the go. The Miami-Dade Commission adopted a resolution authored by Commissioner Souto in early July that may be the starting point for a countywide EV charging station master plan.

In April, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced a grant of $5 million to fund EV infrastructure, including charging stations, in an effort to spur the deployment of EV facilities through local government and private company collaborations. The grant minimum and maximum awards are $250,000 and $500,000 respectively. The South Florida Regional Planning Council, through its role as the South Florida Gold Coast Clean Cities Coalition, submitted a proposal on behalf of a seven-county region consisting of Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie and Indian River counties to the DOE requesting funding to prepare an EV charging master plan which will examine deployment issues, such as the appropriate locations and equipment for such facilities.

Commissioner Souto’s resolution directs the Mayor’s Office to work with the South Florida Regional Planning Council to prepare an application for a master plan and/or future funding that assesses the feasibility of using locations on Miami-Dade County rights-of-way, including but not limited to the South Dade Bus Corridor and the Metrorail Corridor leading into downtown Miami, locations in or around Miami-Dade County park facilities, and other public rights-of-way, such as the median on State Road 836 between Florida’s Turnpike and the Palmetto Expressway.

“The demand for electric vehicles is growing, but Miami-Dade County needs to be able to provide a charging station infrastructure in order to keep up with that demand,” Commissioner Souto said. “Despite the increased driving ranges of the new generation of EVs, a major obstacle to overcome is the ‘range anxiety’ of drivers. An expanded network of EV charging stations will help promote the county’s sustainability efforts while assisting residents who use electric vehicles.”

A number of charging stations can be seen throughout the country offering varying “levels” of electricity. Level I stations fully charge a vehicle in 8-12 hours, Level II in 4-6 hours, and a Level III station in approximately an hour. These stations are typically located in places where there is a concentration of vehicles such as parking garages and lots, shopping centers, educational facilities, hotels and major employment sites.

According to the DOE, Florida is ranked No. 3 behind California and Washington with more than 50 existing and planned charging locations. The majority of these facilities are located in the Central Florida, but Miami-Dade already has a few. The Dadeland North Metrorail parking garage has several Level I and Level II chargers. A solar-powered EV charging station facility also is located in the Downtown Omni area offering Level I and II chargers to the public. The county maintains its own charging stations for its fleet of retrofitted and plug-in hybrids, as well as for the public free of charge.

For more information, contact Commissioner Souto’s office at 305-222-2116.

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