Since this summer season, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy has been assembly with native leaders from throughout the state of Florida on the advantages of electrical transportation. These conferences have allowed us to higher perceive how native governments are prioritizing electrical transportation, to make coverage suggestions, and to share greatest practices from their counterparts throughout the Sunshine State.
Dory Larsen | December 9, 2019
This summer season Electrify the South (the electrical transportation arm of Southern Alliance for Clean Energy) launched a brand new initiative to higher inform elected officers and the employees of Florida’s coastal communities which can be weak to the consequences of offshore oil drilling on the advantages of electrical transportation. Our Protect Our Coast: Drive Electric website and our corresponding toolkit lay out the advantages of electrical transportation (ET) and present how growing electrical transportation can scale back the demand for offshore oil whereas additionally lowering air air pollution, defending public well being, and saving cash with decrease gasoline and upkeep prices.
Many of the parents we reached out to in these weak Florida coastal cities and counties already perceive the numerous dangers an offshore oil spill would pose to their native economies and environments. Most have already taken steps to oppose offshore drilling or seismic blasting (a precursor to grease drilling). Our initiative goals to pair this opposition to offshore oil drilling with different actions that may actively assist ET. The Protect Our Coast: Drive Electric toolkit contains coverage suggestions with hyperlinks to Ordinances and Resolutions beforehand adopted by different municipalities and is formatted into eight classes.
Our preliminary efforts have been centered on 18 strategically chosen Cities/Counties: we despatched them our toolkit electronically, together with an electrification stock they might take itemizing what that they had already completed and what subsequent steps they have been already serious about taking. Of this preliminary 18, over half have been keen to take a seat down with us in particular person to debate the coverage choices within the toolkit. These conferences gave metropolis and county leaders an opportunity to be taught extra about the advantages of electrifying transportation, and publicity to insurance policies which have been taken by different communities to extend electrical car (EV) adoption. It additionally gave us an opportunity to listen to what they’ve already completed.
As a results of these first-spherical conferences, we’ve been updating the coverage toolkit to incorporate what we’ve realized and to share greatest practices. For instance, in June 2019, Sarasota’s City Manager issued a directive to prepare a technique and plan to have at the very least 90% of all metropolis car purchases or leases be of EVs inside 5 years. Broward County handed a Resolution committing to “more ambitious local and regional climate action” together with the acquisition of solely zero-emissions electrical fleet and transit autos by 2030.
In the autumn of 2019, we expanded our efforts to incorporate outreach to an further 19 Cities/Counties. Again, that outreach yielded in-particular person conferences with over half of the respondents. During these interactions, we additionally had the chance to share details about EV infrastructure and new applications being rolled out, together with Florida Power & Light’s EVolution program designed to extend charging stations to over 100 places inside their service territory (much like Duke Energy’s Park and Plug program). Counties have additionally discovered methods to spice up the variety of charging stations, for instance, Sarasota County’s ChargeUP! program which makes use of air pollution mitigation funds to value-share infrastructure.
Some municipalities we have now encountered are unaware of the alternatives obtainable, together with funding alternatives just like the VW Settlement mitigation funding. Others, like Miami-Dade County, are effectively on their approach to transitioning their transit fleet and plan to reinforce their plans utilizing the funding. Last 12 months, they handed a Resolution that at the very least 50% of the transit bus fleet can be electrical by 2035.
Another lesson we have now realized is that there’s a wide selection in how aggressive and the way far alongside numerous cities and counties are in transitioning to ET. SACE is encouraging coverage modifications by providing Ride and Drives to supply choice-makers and leaders with a primary-hand expertise at driving electrical, yielding loads of “a-ha” moments. We participated in Florida’s Climate and Energy Summit hosted by the Office of Energy and enabled a number of thought leaders to drive electrical for the primary time! These interactions enable us to open the door to conversations about insurance policies that may enhance electrical car adoption or infrastructure, problem misconceptions, debunk myths and strengthen our advocacy.
The phrase is getting out. Protect Our Coast: Drive Electric is rising organically by phrase of mouth and we’re persevering with so as to add new metropolis companions, serving to educate their employees and residents about the advantages of electrification. If you want to get entangled in conversations along with your group or to see your metropolis take part, contact us.