As part of its commitment to support the growing use of electric-powered vehicles in Florida, FPL hosted the Electric Vehicle (EV) Stakeholder Summit this week in conjunction with the South Florida and Treasure Coast Regional Planning Councils, and Gold Coast Clean Cities Coalition.
Online PR News – 09-October-2011 – – Juno Beach, FL -- As part of its commitment to support the growing use of electric-powered vehicles in Florida, FPL hosted the Electric Vehicle (EV) Stakeholder Summit this week in conjunction with the South Florida and Treasure Coast Regional Planning Councils, and Gold Coast Clean Cities Coalition.
Communities will soon be able to take full advantage of energy-efficient electric vehicles with the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt available now, and almost every major car manufacturer planning to launch at least one EV model within the next year. Experts said that adoption of these and other EVs is expected to ramp up gradually in Florida over the next few years.
The EV Summit brought together community leaders, representatives from leading automakers, such as Nissan, Ford and General Motors, and industry experts to begin preparing for the vehicles’ arrival and their effect on local communities. This includes “fueling,” or charging, EVs; permitting and inspections of charging stations; providing affordable, reliable and clean electric service; charging at multi-family dwellings, fleet conversions and more.
“Planning for long-term energy growth is part of our core business and the introduction of electric vehicles is something we take into consideration,” said Brian Hanrahan, FPL’s Director of In-Home Technologies and Electric Vehicles. “We continue to evaluate the best approach to meet the emerging needs of this technology by studying the market and actively engaging with automotive manufacturers, local governments and other agencies.”
Conference participants discussed the role communities will play and the challenges that go with new technologies, including streamlining permitting and inspection processes for home charging, accommodating multi-unit dwellings, and converting business fleets for increased efficiencies.
"Electric vehicles are one of the key alternatives to gasoline-powered vehicles that will help improve air quality in the State, and we are particularly pleased to assist our communities in Southeast Florida to prepare for these new technological advances," said Christine Heshmati, Coordinator for the Gold Coast Clean Cities Coalition. “Through public-private partnerships, we find that we are able to accomplish the Coalition’s mission to reduce our dependence on imported oil and improve the environment. Educational events like this EV Summit are just one example of how effective these partnerships are.”
EV Summit organizers outlined the following benefits of EVs nationally and in Florida:
• Environmental - emission-free operation dramatically reduces air pollution and the many problems association with greenhouse gases;
• Cost - the cost to power an EV is roughly 80 percent less than fueling a conventional vehicle, plus reduced ongoing maintenance costs
• Technology - smooth, fast acceleration makes EVs fun to drive, plus availability of smart phone applications that track charging levels and control certain vehicle functions
• Reduced dependence on foreign fuels
In addition, Southeast Florida is one of 16 regions in 24 states and the District of Columbia to receive a grant from U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles. In his announcement, Secretary Chu said, "By developing the next generation of automotive engineers and preparing communities for plug-in electric vehicles, these projects will help reduce our nation's dependence on oil imports, create jobs, and help America capture the growing global market for advanced vehicles."
FPL operates one of the largest green fleets of any investor-owned utility, with more than 1,500 biodiesel-powered vehicles and almost 400 hybrid-electric or plug-in electric vehicles. In 2006, FPL became the first U.S. company to put a medium-duty hybrid bucket truck into service; and in 2008, deployed its first plug-in hybrid electric vehicle and first plug-in hybrid electric bucket truck. At the 2009 Clinton Global Initiative, FPL committed to transition its entire fleet of more than 2,400 company cars and trucks to plug-in hybrid electric vehicles by 2020. Visit the follow links to read a blog http://www.fplblog.com/?p=883 from a FPL EV expert or to see a video http://tinyurl.com/4y95zzw from today’s summit.
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