Learn More About Driving an Electric Vehicle in Florida
Driving on Sunshine Roadshow
Curious about electric vehicles? Want to test drive an electric vehicle (EV) without committing? If you’re weighing the pros and cons of buying an electric car, there are a number of upcoming opportunities in February to test drive a few.
Driving on Sunshine is an EV roadshow sponsored by Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, and it will be setting up test drive stations during the month of February across the state.
The Nissan LEAF hatchback, a Tesla Model 3 sedan, and a Tesla Model X crossover are among the plug-in cars that may be available to drive at the following Driving on Sunshine dates:
- STEMtastic Day of Discovery (Fort Myers, February 8)
- Southwest Florida Veg Fest (Bonita Springs, February 16)
- Miami Veg Fest (February 22)
- St. Petersburg Saturday Morning Market (February 29)
Florida is a Great State to Own an Electric Vehicle
EV ownership has increased 300-percent in the Sunshine State since 2013. There are now 1,165 charging stations from the southern tip to the Panhandle, which means that there is probably a charging station near you.
There are currently more than 20 electric models on the market, and many can go as far as 200 miles between charges. According to a 2018 University of Michigan study, electric vehicles cost half as much to drive as gas-powered cars.
Federal Electric Car Tax Rebates
Many buyers of new (not used or leased) electric cars will qualify for a federal tax credit of up to $7,500. The credit drops after car-makers sell a certain number of each model, so buy sooner than later in order to get the credit.
Florida Electric Car Rebates
Many Florida utility companies offer incentives to electric car owners, regardless of if the car is new or used, purchased, or leased.
- Jacksonville: The JEA offers between $500-$1000 in rebates, depending on the battery size of your EV.
- Orlando: The Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC) provides rebates of $200 to residential customers who purchase or lease an electric vehicle.
- Kissimmee: The KUA (Kissimmee Utility Authority) provides rebates of $100 to residential customers who purchase an EV and $100 to those who purchase a home charging station that is installed by a licensed electrical contractor.
Benefits of Owning an EV in Florida
Owners of electrical vehicles don’t just save on gas. They also save on tolls and skip ahead of traffic. If you live in Miami and own an EV or a hybrid, you probably qualify for a Florida HOV decal, which allows you to use the HOV lane at any time.
Do you carpool frequently on I-95? You may also be able to use the toll-free Express Lane in your EV. Apply for the perk.
How to Charge Your EV
Electric cars usually take about eight hours to fully charge, but some rapid-charging stations allow you to charge in under an hour. Don’t have time for a full charge? You can also top off an electric car battery without causing any damage. You can charge an electric vehicle at your house overnight using a regular 120-volt household outlet or a 240-volt outlet.
Many workplaces and some retail outlets, such as grocery stores and malls, have rapid-charge stations. This means your EV will charge while you do something else, such as shop. Some public charging stations are free. Others charge by the hour or the amount of energy dispensed.
Need to Insure Your New Electric Vehicle?
Excited about your new electric car and want to make sure it’s fully protected? Insuring your EV with Florida Farm Bureau Insurance is as easy as insuring any other automobile. Get in touch with a local agent today, and we’ll set you up with the right policy.