September 28, 2023

Electric Vehicle Charging in Florida

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6 Min. Read

As electric vehicle (EV) adoption rates continue to rise, EV charging stations are rolling out nationwide on a mass scale. However, rollout progress across states varies, so interstate traveling requires adequate planning.

If you’re an EV owner or looking to become one and driving through the Sunshine State, it’s essential to understand what owning the car and Florida EV charging entails, whether in your home or on the go.

This article will provide tips on EV ownership and information to help your travel planning efforts in the Sunshine State.

EV Charging in Florida

The number of EVs traveling the state’s roads is growing steadily, and charging stations are sprouting in every large parking facility. Florida ranks second in the number of EVs registered by the state, partly thanks to the impact of the EV Infrastructure Master Plan introduced in 2020.

Several EV-friendly initiatives are underway to enable residents and visitors to recognize and appreciate Florida’s progressive stance on electric vehicles.

Florida Power & Light

Florida Power & Light (FPL), one of the largest utility companies in the Sunshine State, predicts that the number of EVs in Florida will double by 2030.

This utility provider is already preparing for the future by building the largest charging network in the state, EVolution. FPL has committed to installing 1,000 charging stations in 200 locations along highly-trafficked roads and adjacent to popular venues. EVolution relies on renewable energy to build a modern grid that can adapt to the increased demand for energy without taking a toll on the environment.

Drivers who download FPL’s EVolution app can locate nearby charging stations, amenities in the area, and whether the charging ports are available.

The utility also offers an online toolkit, the EV Expressway, to help travelers plan journeys and ferret out Florida EV charging station locations along their planned route or the one they recommend.

Alternative Fueling Station Locator

While FPL is working on developing the largest Florida EV charging network, EVolution accounts for less than a quarter of the 4,700 charging stations available throughout the Sunshine State.

The U.S. Department of Energy offers a convenient online tool to help drivers locate charging stations anywhere in the country across all networks. It’s a must-have tool for those planning a road trip in an unfamiliar area!

EV Charging at Home

During Q1 2022, EV sales accounted for 4.51% of the light-duty vehicle market in Florida, with EVs already accounting for 7% of the national vehicle market in Q1 2023. This percentage growth illustrates the positive impact of federal, state, and local incentives designed to make EV ownership and at-home charging more accessible.

As a prospective or current EV owner, you should know that at-home charging with a Level 2 charging station remains the most practical option. Leaving your EV plugged in overnight for eight hours will extend your range by an average of 180 miles, allowing you to start your day with a full battery.

For those living in Florida or considering relocating to the Sunshine State, the following incentives are making at-home charging more accessible on top of additional measures at the federal level, such as the Clean Car Tax Credit.

Rebates

Local incentives are helping EV owners save on purchasing a new vehicle and installing a Level 2 charging station at home.

For instance, the Kissimmee Utility Authority is offering $100 toward purchasing a new vehicle and another $100 for installing a charging station. The Orlando Utilities Commission offers a similar program with rebates of up to $200, with the addition of pre-owned EVs qualifying for the refund.

Utilities are also doing their part to support EV adoption, with Brickell Energy operating the popular aFLoat Program that covers a part of the cost of installing a charging station.

Charging During Off-Peak Hours

As EV adoption continues to increase, utilities must prepare for an increased load on the grid. Several utility providers have launched programs to encourage charging during off-peak hours by offering monthly rebates.

For instance, the Jacksonville Electric Authority offers monthly incentives for drivers who plug their EVs in to charge during off-peak hours. Duke Energy customers can also take advantage of a similar off-peak charging credit.

Additional Initiatives

Lawmakers actively promote EV adoption in Florida through measures that facilitate access to EV ownership and charging facilities. Here are a few examples:

Adjusting Your EV Travel for Climate and Battery Capacity

Florida residents are no strangers to warm temperatures, with the annual average temperature consistently exceeding 72°F. Unfortunately, hot weather can affect range and battery capacity.

Driving ranges can decrease by 17% when the temperature hits 95°F and the car’s AC is running. This reduced battery range translates into increased charging stops and increases the battery-operated vehicle’s operating costs. Additionally, charging speeds slow down in hot weather.

Driving in extreme weather requires careful route planning to avoid range anxiety. But many attractions now offer charging during your visit, saving you time while enjoying your vacation in states with an EV charging infrastructure.

Overnight charging remains the best solution for optimizing the range of your EV in hot weather. If you have an EV or are considering an EV purchase, contact a licensed professional to learn more about your options.

Planning for EV Travel in Florida

Florida EV rates highly for being EV-friendly but requires solid planning before traveling long distances.

To date, charging options are growing along the highways, and the state’s major attractions are set up with EV chargers, with more being added as the volume of EVs on the roads grows.

Places such as Disney World want people to drive there from all over confidently and have the battery capacity to visit more. Disney was an early supporter of electrification, offering EV charging at Epcot parks as early as 2014.

Now, they have at least four EV chargers at each theme park, a few in each Disney Springs parking lot, charging stations at most of the Walt Disney company’s resort hotels, and more at other hotels on Disney property owned and operated by other firms.

Universal Studios is following suit with over 70 charging spaces available to guests, and other popular attractions, including SeaWorld Orlando and the Kennedy Space Center, also offer a few charging stations.

Many hotels and resorts also install Level 2 charging stations to offer overnight charging as an amenity. If you’re looking for an EV-friendly accommodation, Stay-N-Charge is a convenient tool to explore over 200 hotel properties with EV charging across the Sunshine State.

Plus, platforms such as Airbnb facilitate access to EV-friendly vacation rentals by offering filters that allow travelers to search for accommodations with overnight charging capabilities.

EV Ownership in Florida

Planning an excursion in your new vehicle is exciting, and it’s essential to integrate your new possession into your home life. As EV adoption rises, nationwide EV charging stations are expanding, but planning is crucial for interstate travel due to varying infrastructure.

EV ownership is growing in Florida, with several incentives making ownership and charging more accessible. Florida Power & Light is leading the way in developing an extensive charging network, while other utilities are offering rebates on Level 2 charging station installations and off-peak charging.

State legislation fosters EV adoption by protecting EV owners from unfair costs and through establishing local programs and incentive provisions.

The tourist and hospitality industry of Florida supports EV adoption by increasingly offering charging as a perk. Popular destinations such as Disney World or Universal Studios are setting an example with multiple charging spaces, and many hotels and resorts are adding overnight charging to the list of perks they offer.

Even though traveling with an EV is becoming more accessible thanks to the development of a state-wide charging infrastructure, at-home charging remains the go-to option for most EV owners.

Qmerit, North America’s most trusted electrification installer, can work with you to budget for your home charger installation, determine the optimal charger location, and upgrade your electrical panel if necessary.

Their specially trained and vetted installers have connected over 450,000 EV charging stations and can assist you in seamlessly integrating your electric vehicle into your daily routine. Contact Qmerit today for expert help with your EV charger installation.

Author: Tom Bowen

Tom Bowen

President, Qmerit Solutions and Commercial Electrification