The Volkswagen Mitigation Trust Settlement-How Florida’s Electric Transportation and Infrastructure Can Benefit

Kaitlin Reed DEF Programs

The consent decree settlements between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Volkswagen (VW) have made Florida eligible to receive over $166 million in funding through the Environment Mitigation Trust Agreement (EMT).

The funds provided through the EMT allow the use of up to 15% of the funds for the installation of electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Electric vehicles in general are also afforded the most favorable funding eligibility allowed by the EMT. This fact is a recognition of the potential of electric transportation to provide the most immediate and longest lasting solution to reverse the negative environmental andhealth impacts that are a result of Volkswagen’s sale of non-compliant diesel vehicles in Florida.

The primary mission of Drive Electric Florida (DEF) is to promote the use of electric transportation and the deployment of the supporting infrastructure. DEF has engaged legislative, business, governmental and other organizations in making the following suggested use of EMT funds.

Drive Electric Florida Suggested Actions

DEF recommends that the State of Florida Department of Environmental Protection, as Beneficiary, authorize funding for two eligible mitigation actions:

  • Replacement of Diesel School, Transit and Shuttle Buses with All-Electric Technology
  • Approve the Allowable 15% Allocation for Zero Emission Vehicle Supply Equipment

DEF believes these two eligible mitigation opportunities significantly address the EMT goal of reducing NOx through the use of zero emission vehicles. Additional benefits of these investments include the lower fuel and maintenance costs inherent in electric drive technologies, and the economic benefit of using energy that is produced and delivered in Florida.

DEF advocates for the best and most equitable use of funds that address NOx reductions and that also gives all Florida communities the opportunity to develop infrastructure that promotes the adoption of electric transportation.  Please read further for additional detail about the advantages of our recommendations.

Thank You!

 

About Drive Electric Florida (DEF)

DEF is an organization of electric transportation stakeholders across Florida, whose membership includes representatives from the automotive industry, utilities, environmental groups, electric vehicle (EV) enthusiast groups, charging network operators and governmental entities. Our members believe a portion of the EMT funds should be used to support the deployment of electric school, transit and shuttle buses; and to enhance and complete a network of electric vehicle charging stations in Florida.

What Electric Transportation Means for Florida

  • EVs produce no tail pipe emissions and provide the largest NOx reduction potential
  • Increased use of renewables and clean fuels continues to make Florida’s electric grid cleaner
  • The total environmental impact of EVs decreases as the grid becomes cleaner
  • The electricity to fuel EVs is produced and sold in Florida, an in-state economic benefit
  • Reduced fuel and maintenance costs result in a lower total cost of vehicle ownership
  • Petroleum demands are reduced and the environment is protected
  • The greatest impact on declining fuel tax revenue comes from overall fuel economy
    improvements and hybrid vehicles, not EVs

Why Electric Buses are Important

  • Electric buses produce no objectionable fumes or noise
  • School children and the public are not exposed to hazardous exhaust
  • A Department of Energy national laboratory reports that electric transit buses achieve over four
    times better fuel economy than CNG transit buses, and have lower operating and maintenance
    costs
  • Electric buses will continually reduce environmental impact as the grid the becomes cleaner,
    conventionally fueled buses will not

Why Zero Emissions Vehicle Supply Equipment is Important

  • The existing EV charging network in Florida is inadequate and cannot support the rapid growth
    of EVs in Florida
  • EMT funds provide the opportunity to install a modern statewide EV charging network that
    supports long-distance travel
  • EMT funds can be used to install publically available charging at business locations
  • EV charging stations are relatively easy to install and require no special environmental studies
    or permits
  • A Department of Energy national laboratory projects 34,000 public charging stations will be
    needed in Florida by 2030; currently there are 953 stations with a total of 2,208 outlets.