Tech Tuesday: Demand Growing For Electric Vehicle Charge Stations On The First Coast

Apr 8, 2014

Electric cars are no longer a thing of the future. More people are driving plug-in cars, even in Jacksonville.

In this week’s Tech Tuesday segment, North Florida TPO Public Affairs Manager Marci Larson spoke with Karen Feagins on need for more charging stations for electric automobiles on the First Coast.

“We want to gather together those folks that already own an electric vehicle and those who are thinking about it and we’ve got transportation and JEA officials there, so we can hear from folks where they’d like to see more charging stations,” said Larson, describing a rally scheduled for Tuesday night organized by the North Florida Clean Fuels Coalition.

The rally, scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Loft Hotel in Tapestry Park, is for people who are interested in getting together to share their passion and ideas regarding electric vehicles.

“Obviously, when you talk about alternative fuels and vehicles, having the infrastructure in place is extremely important. So that’s what the conversation will be on tonight,” Larson said.

Credit North Florida Clean Fuels Coalition

In addition to electric vehicles, Larson said the creation of infrastructure for other alternate fuels, including natural gas and propane, are also on the agency's agenda.

Pat from Fleming Island, the proud owner of an electric vehicle, called in with some personal insight.

“We need charging stations everywhere,” he said.

“I drive a Chevy Volt, and I plug it in at my airplane hangar that I built with heat, cool and light with solar energy, and I drive my Volt to it and I plug it in and I get my electric power from the sun for my car."

"I’m averaging 800 per gallon on my Chevy Volt," he said. "It’s the best car I’ve ever owned.”

Larson said the TPO is working with JEA on adding more charging stations in Jacksonville.

“That would be one alternative in terms of taking the lead in establishing more stations," she said of the partnership.

Larson said local businesses could also be integral to the establishment of vehicle charge stations as more of their employees begin to drive electric vehicles.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy's Alternative Fuels Data Center, there are nine electric charging stations on the First Coast, including six in Jacksonville. The same site shows a total of 982 electric charge stations across Florida.

Tonight's rally is free, but registration is required. You can register online at DriveElectricRally.com.

You can follow Karen Feagins on Twitter @karenfeagins and Cole Gordon @Cagordon33Cole.