Gas stations tell Florida to stop dawdling with $198M in federal EV charger funding


Gas stations tell Florida to stop dawdling with 8M in federal EV charger funding

Florida will get $198 million of federal EV charger funding over five years, but Wawa, Buc-ee’s, Busy Bee, and others can’t access it because the state is slacking.

Florida won’t release federal EV charger funding

Florida is the largest state in the US that hasn’t released an application for EV charging operators to access millions in National Electric Vehicle Instructure (NEVI) funding. (It’s one of 14 laggard states.)

Yet Florida is No 2 in the US for having the most EVs.

While other states like Ohio, which is on its second round of applications, are celebrating the opening of its NEVI DC fast chargers, businesses along Florida’s interstates still can’t apply to participate in this program, which is part of the Biden administration’s 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Charge Ahead Partnership, a national coalition of businesses working to expand the US EV charging network – and in addition to the above gas station chains, also counts the Florida Petroleum Marketers Association and the Florida Retail Federation as members – released a statement that basically tells Florida to get its finger out so that the state’s gas stations and other businesses can access the federal NEVI grant-matching program to install EV chargers.

NEVI funding covers around 80% of the costs of the chargers, and the businesses pay the other 20%.

“Florida has countless businesses that would love to use NEVI funds to help build out the state’s EV charging infrastructure, the same way that businesses in other states are,” said Charge Ahead Partnership executive director Jay Smith. “It’s unfortunate that the state has still not issued an application for funds, while states like Ohio are opening NEVI-funded chargers.”

Electrek’s Take

There’s been a lot of media coverage that criticizes the NEVI program for being slow to roll out. The thing is, it’s ultimately the responsibility of states to roll out the NEVI program once they receive federal funds – and Florida has been sitting on its NEVI funds for almost two years. The Sunshine State can’t blame the Biden administration for its lack of action.

The state is responsible for getting this money to EV charging operators, but it’s not doing that. The Tampa Bay Times reported that “Michael Williams, a spokesperson for the Florida Department of Transportation, did not respond to multiple emails asking why the state has not yet opened applications and its expected timeline for doing so.”

So Charge Ahead Partnership is holding Florida accountable by publicly calling for them to issue a NEVI application already. Good for them.

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