Left to right: Josh Cohen, Greenlots; Oscar Rodriguez, NOVAcharge; Ebo Entsuah, AEE; and Linda Ferrone, Orlando Utility Commission/City of Orlando.
Nicknamed “The City Beautiful,” Orlando is already known for tourism, hospitality, and dining, but another feature is growing in popularity: Electric Vehicles. The city currently has 1,689 alternative fuel vehicles in its fleet, and plans to increase that number to nearly 2,400 by 2030. Over the last 15 years, the city has deployed various/several public-private partnerships to accelerate a positive environment for EV drivers, ratepayers, and the community. Now adding EVs to its municipal fleet and investing in hundreds of charging stations, Orlando is set to become the EV leader of the Southeast.
To highlight the city’s leading role, AEE gathered business owners, elected officials, and the public to learn more about electric vehicles and the regional economic benefits affiliated with Orlando’s ongoing charging infrastructure investments. Hosted in conjunction with the City of Orlando and Greenlots, a leader in EV charging stations and software, the event also highlighted policies the state could adopt to foster continued EV market expansion.
Last month, local leaders including Josh Cohen, Director of Policy at Greenlots, and Linda Ferrone, chief customer and marketing officer for the Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC), and the local state representative joined me and Oscar Rodriguez, executive chairman of Orlando-based EV charging solutions manufacturer NovaCHARGE, for a local EV infrastructure tour.
“It was awesome to join community advocates as we celebrated the growth of electric vehicle charging stations in Central Florida,” said Rep. Anna Eskamani (D-Orlando). “As more people transition to electric vehicles, it becomes even more important to provide convenient, universal, and reliable charging stations. It’s incredible to see the City of Orlando lead on these efforts and I’m excited to continue supporting EV expansion via the Florida Legislature, too!”
According to a recent report from AEE, the advanced energy industry employs more than 13,000 workers across Orange County and more than 153,000 Floridians statewide. The portion of that industry dedicated to advanced transportation in Florida – which includes hybrid, electric, natural gas, and fuel cell vehicles – provides 9,300 jobs alone. To further capitalize on this growing market, the city is now establishing an electric vehicle readiness code to help meet both current and future EV charging needs.
“The Orlando Utilities Commission is proud to partner with the City of Orlando to advance electric vehicle infrastructure. Together, we’ve made Orlando one of the top 10 most EV-ready cities in the nation,” said Ferrone. “OUC has installed over 300 electric vehicle charging stations around the city, and that number will continue to grow.”
OUC has also worked closely with the City of Orlando over the past 10 years to make the city a hub for vehicle electrification. NovaCHARGE recently teamed up with both entities to deploy 100 new charging stations in the area.
“Orlando is our company’s hometown, so we are particularly appreciative of the city for making electric vehicle charging infrastructure such a high priority,” said Rodriguez. “NovaCHARGE is thrilled to play a part in Orlando’s progress toward becoming the electric vehicle leader of the Southeast, and we hope cities across the state follow its example.”
Orlando has already proven itself a leader in advanced energy, as its efforts to prioritize electric vehicles are sure to prepare the city for the advanced vehicle industry’s continued growth in Florida. As Orlando continues to support electric vehicles and other advanced energy initiatives, expect to see more and more economic benefits in the city’s future.
Download 2021 advanced energy employment fact sheets on 14 states, including Florida, by clicking below.