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Charging stations coming to turnpike plazas

Charging stations will be available or under construction at all service plazas by the end of the year

Charging stations for electric vehicles will be available or under construction at all Florida Turnpike service plazas by the end of the year, with similar infrastructure along other major highways, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday.

DeSantis said the effort should remove a disincentive for people who are considering electric vehicles.

“If you have a trip, you’re going to drive 200, 300 miles. You’re not going to have to worry, I mean there’s definitely going to be a place (to charge),” DeSantis said during a news conference at the Turkey Lake service plaza in Orange County.

“It’s just like if you’re getting in your car now. I don’t worry if I’m driving from Tampa to Daytona on I-4 that there is no gasoline.”

Charging stations have already been installed at the Turkey Lane service plaza and the Fort Drum service plaza in Okeechobee County. DeSantis said he expects the state will bid out the work to private firms to install charging stations along other major highways.

The state intends to use about $25 million from a Volkswagen settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice stemming from allegations that the carmaker violated emissions requirements. The state received $166 million of the $14.7 billion settlement in 2018 to improve air quality.

“One of the things that we’re doing as part of that plan is allocating the maximum amount of dollars allowable under the plan for electric charging infrastructure,” DeSantis said.

The state is also looking to use the money for help switch public transit and school buses to cleaner diesel fuel.

The News Service of Florida provides journalists, lobbyists, government officials and other civic leaders with comprehensive, objective information about the activities of state government year-round.

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