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A pair of bills would evaluate how to increase access to electric vehicle charging stations.

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Senate panel OK’s electric vehicle charging station study

Electric vehicles could help combat climate change.

A Senate panel is moving forward legislation that would set up a state study on the development of new electric vehicle charging stations.

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture Environment and General Government approved the bill (SB 7018) Thursday morning.

The legislation would task the Public Service Commission, along with other state agencies, to study the potential expansion of electric vehicle charging stations in the state.

 Sen. Tom Lee, a Thonotosassa Republican, presented the bill Thursday. The bill originated in the Senate Infrastructure and Security Committee.

“The commission, in coordination with the Department of Transportation and the Office of Energy within the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, shall develop and recommend a plan for current and future plans for the development of electric vehicle charging station infrastructure along the State Highway System,” the bill reads.

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A preliminary report would go to Gov. Ron DeSantis, as well as House and Senate leadership, by Dec. 2020. The final report must be issued by July 1, 2021.

The measures require planners to review several factors, including projecting the increase in electric vehicle use in the state over the next 20 years. The plan must then assess the type of charging stations available now and ones that “may become available in the future” and strategize the best way to bring those stations to Florida’s roads.

Democratic Reps. Dan Daley and Ben Diamond introduced a bill in the House (HB 1239.) That bill has not received a committee hearing.

Lee told the subcommittee Thursday that the desire to study the issue stemmed from a need to lessen the impacts of climate change in the state.

“One of the things that we learned is that transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions here in our state,” Lee said.

The bill will next head to its final stop in front of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Written By

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to ryan.t.nicol@gmail.com.

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