By George Riley
Florida is leading the charge on electric vehicles – and our residents and economy are better because of it.
Right now, ours is the leading electric vehicle state in the Southeast, with a 53% jump in electric vehicle sales and a 54% increase in electric vehicle charging station deployments over the last year. This is great news for Floridians, as every gas vehicle traded in for an electric one means a more cost-effective, innovative and cleaner vehicle on the road.
Recognizing the immense benefits of electric vehicles, Gov. Ron DeSantis recently awarded more than $68 million in funding to secure 227 electric transit buses around the state. This comes after the approval of more than 200 new electric school buses that will continue to benefit our students and school districts.
Each of these forward-thinking steps takes us one step closer to modernizing our transportation infrastructure and reducing harmful emissions.
It’s clear that this consumer-driven transition to electric vehicles will continue to benefit our residents and visitors in countless ways. As just one example, transportation electrification reduces our dangerous dependence on costly imported fuels, particularly when gas prices can fluctuate wildly based on factors we can’t predict or control. Not only do electric vehicles help keep household budgets intact, they also make our communities more independent and secure.
These actions are all part of a broader and more significant step toward a clean-energy future in Florida, and our state is fortunate to have a governor who prioritizes these innovative advancements.
Gov. DeSantis’ willingness to advance commonsense clean energy policies while protecting Florida families’ pocketbooks from unpredictable energy costs is something worth celebrating.
Earlier this year, the governor vetoed a shortsighted legislative proposal that would have upended an important consumer policy called solar net metering. His decisive action helped ensure that Florida families who choose to invest in rooftop solar get to enjoy the full benefits of the energy they produce.
While rooftop solar still represents just a fraction of the total energy produced in our state, it’s clear that consumers want to see more. Last year, we saw a 45% increase in the number of new solar connections. With utility bills continuing to skyrocket, I expect we’ll see even more families make this choice.
New funding sources at the federal level can also be used to enhance clean energy priorities by boosting investments in solar and making it easier for communities to embrace electric vehicles.
Overall, one thing is clear: Clean energy will continue to play a greater role in Florida’s future, from more electric vehicles on our roadways to more solar panels on our rooftops. To build on this momentum, we should follow the governor’s lead and continue investing in opportunities that save families money, grow our economy and create healthier communities.
George Riley is the Executive Director for Conservatives for Clean Energy. He previously served as executive director of the Republican Party of Florida.