By Michayla Savitt/Florida News Connection
Florida would benefit from the federal government’s proposed $274 billion investment in electric vehicles and infrastructure, according to a new report.
Those who are skeptical about electric vehicles often cite concerns over high upfront costs. But Ryan Gallentine, policy director for electrifying transportation for Advanced Energy Economy – the trade group that released the report, insisted the investment is worth it.
“Once you kind of get over that initial increased price at the beginning, you can really see a lot of savings,” said Gallentine. “Because you’re just missing a lot of those parts with the internal combustion engine. Your maintenance and fuel costs are much less over the lifetime of the vehicle.”
Gallentine said the investment would also create almost 11 million jobs nationwide.
In 2020, Florida workers accounted for more than 153,000 jobs in clean energy-related fields, and another 6% job growth is expected in the state this year.
According to the report, investment in electric transportation is vital if the U.S. wants to meet its climate goals. Gallentine added the funding would give states the opportunity to modernize their transportation systems, and address air-quality issues in communities.
“It’s going to be really important to look at advanced energy economy as a holistic solution,” said Gallentine. “And use any federal funding programs in a way that electrifies the transportation system as quickly as possible.”
In Miami-Dade and Broward counties, nearly a quarter of the population lives within 500 feet of a busy roadway, according to the Florida Health Department. The U.S. has a new emissions-reduction goal of 50% to 52% by 2030, and has pledged to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.