This week, Florida’s legislature returns to Tallahassee for the 2022 session, but work advocating for advanced energy among state policymakers has already been underway for several weeks.
For instance, AEE flew to Tallahassee on November 2 to meet with state legislators and Public Service Commission (PSC) members to discuss the trends and opportunities of advanced energy; specifically, the implementation of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) electric vehicle (EV) roadmap. Our message was clear: Florida has the opportunity to become an EV leader in the Southeast if the roadmap recommendations are properly implemented.
AEE has been a tireless advocate for improving the electric vehicle landscape in Florida over the past several years, providing technical expertise and taking part in stakeholder meetings as lawmakers and policymakers studied their options. That work culminated in the passage of SB 7018, which directed the Florida Department of Transportation to hold stakeholder meetings and create a number of recommendations geared toward the development and implementation of a state EV roadmap.
With the release of the roadmap, AEE is now advocating for Florida to implement many of the recommendations in the plan and has been talking to nearly a dozen Republican and Democratic state lawmakers alike about the trends, opportunities, and priorities regarding the roadmap’s recommendations.
Last year, AEE released its Florida Employment Fact Sheet, which highlighted the more than 154,000 people working in the advanced energy industry, 9,000 of whom make up the advanced transportation sector. Proper implementation of the EV roadmap recommendations would help this industry grow to even larger numbers.
FDOT’s recently released EV roadmap is designed to ensure adequate charging infrastructure is put in place so that Floridians can confidently travel emissions-free from Miami to Pensacola and points in between. AEE is supportive of a number of FDOT-recommended policies to speed up deployment of charging infrastructure, which we communicated to lawmakers in our conversations.
Some of these policies included:
- Legislation or a directive for a Public Service Commission (PSC) proceeding to implement guidelines for medium and heavy-duty fleet electrification.
- Legislation directing the PSC to open an exploratory docket to make recommendations back to the PSC ahead of the 2023 legislative session.
- Legislation directing state agencies to pursue public-private partnerships for fleet electrification across state and municipal governments.
AEE was also invited to sit in on the Senate Regulated Industries subcommittee to hear some of the legislature's conversation regarding Florida’s energy future.
In addition, AEE met with Florida Public Service Commissioners Andrew Fay and Art Graham, who gave their perspectives on the opportunities to expand the state’s EV market, stressing the critical need for EV charging infrastructure and proper rate design.
Heading into the 2022 session, the Florida legislature is now better equipped to handle the accelerated deployment of electric vehicles and should be looking for opportunities to help deliver legislative progress.