ORLANDO, Fla. — Editors note: The image above is a stock image of an electric car charging station. The state has not yet released its design of the 74 stations set to be built.
Gov. DeSantis announced Friday that more fast electric charging stations are coming to major Florida highways.
Of the $166 million awarded from the funds of the Volkswagen settlement for violating the Clean Air Act, the state says $8.5 million will go to building 74 new charging stations.
"We are ready to award over $8.5 million in contracts to build 74 additional fast electric charging stations along Florida's major highways and evacuation routes," DeSantis said.
The stations will span more than 1,200 miles along Interstate 75, Interstate 4 and Interstate 95, DeSantis said. The addition will increase public access to fast-charging stations in the state to 50-percent.
"The result of all this work will mean electric car owners will not have to worry about where they will be able to charge their car when using our major highways," DeSantis said.
He also noted that Floridians, like other Americans, are buying up electric vehicles more frequently, saying their footprint in the state had increased "tenfold" in the last nine years.
As for the rest of the money? Roughly $16.5 million remains to be used towards other electric vehicle infrastructure projects. After that, DeSantis said the state is looking into using additional funds for electric or alternative fuel, school and transit busses, and the replacement of other high emissions vehicles.
Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Noah Valenstein thanked DeSantis for all that he has done since taking office, calling today's announcement: "all about air."
This past March under DeSantis' leadership, Valenstein said the state has met all of its national ambient air quality standards -- making Flordia the "most populous state in the nation" to meet such standards.
Locations for the stations are not yet locked down due to permitting, but a map of chosen areas shows a few might be coming to the Tampa Bay area. Construction is expected to be complete within a matter of weeks, according to DeSantis.
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