Kelsey Grentzer | August 2, 2019 | Clean Transportation, Electric Vehicles, Energy Policy, Florida

The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, in partnership with the City of St. Petersburg, Florida, has a objective of getting 500 St. Petersburg residents take a look at drive an electric vehicle by the top of 2020, and earlier this week U.S. Congressman Charlie Crist was among the many first St. Petersburg residents to take a take a look at drive as a part of this initiative. Congressman Crist was joined by St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, Pinellas County Commissioner Janet Long, and Largo Mayor Woody Brown at a Driving on Sunshine journey and drive event, the place they spoke concerning the necessary function electric autos are taking part in in the transition to wash transportation and what these leaders are doing in their communities to advance electric vehicle insurance policies in Florida.

Watch their remarks right here:

At the event, Congressman Crist mentioned laws he launched in Congress earlier this 12 months to increase the solar energy tax credit score for an further 10 years. “Because a lot of the issue now we have with air pollution comes from our autos, one of the best methods we will stem the tide of that’s to have extra electric autos,” stated former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist.

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman spoke about St. Petersburg’s dedication to maneuver to 100% clear energy, together with transitioning their autos to a green fleet. As one in every of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ American Cities Climate Challenge award winners, St. Petersburg is addressing how transportation is a key a part of town’s method to decreasing its carbon footprint.

“What’s one of the easiest ways that you can have an impact on reducing your carbon footprint? It’s to get out of a gas-guzzling vehicle and into [an electric vehicle],” Kriseman stated. “We encourage people to take advantage of every opportunity you have to experience what it’s like to drive one of these things, and I think that once you’ve driven one, you’re going to get hooked, and you’re going to want to have an electric vehicle, not only because it’s fun to drive, but also because of the impact it could have on our community.”

Pinellas County Commissioner Janet Long famous that Pinellas County is already dwelling to greater than 3,500 plug-in electric autos – virtually 9 p.c of the electric autos on the highway in Florida at this time. She additionally expressed her dedication to working together with her fellow commissioners to make sure that the county transitions its fleet to 100% electric autos. 

Largo Mayor Woody Brown mentioned his metropolis’s efforts to “lead the charge” on electric autos by transitioning to a 100% various gas, gentle-responsibility fleet by 2030. He additionally famous that now, the default selection for any gentle-responsibility vehicle bought for Largo can be a hybrid vehicle, and quickly the default can be a fully-electric vehicle. In addition, he highlighted town’s dedication to 100% clear energy and its set up of seven new charging stations in the previous 12 months.

The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority additionally participated in the event and introduced a absolutely electric bus working because the St. Petersburg Downtown Looper — a free service to get round downtown St. Pete.

After making remarks, the elected officials and different attendees went for take a look at drives in absolutely electric Tesla and Nissan autos, and different EVs had been obtainable on show for attendees.

The 500 take a look at drives in St. Petersburg are a part of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy’s new statewide Driving on Sunshine electric vehicle roadshow, which launched in July. This roadshow is touring across the Sunshine State, providing Floridians the chance to expertise the benefits of driving electric firsthand. Attendees at Driving on Sunshine roadshow occasions throughout the state will be capable to take a spin in a Nissan LEAF hatchback, a Tesla Model 3 sedan or a custom-wrapped Tesla Model X for free. 

Through the roadshow, we hope to exhibit to Floridians how electric vehicles save drivers cash by decreasing working and upkeep prices, provide higher total security and efficiency, and assist defend the environment and public well being. We’re in the method of organising electric vehicle roadshow occasions across the state. Stay tuned about upcoming occasions close to you by joining the Electrify the South mailing list and visiting drivingonsunshine.org.

Would you want to assist unfold the phrase concerning the many advantages of electric autos? Sign up to volunteer for future events in your area

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