County Commissioners today unanimously approved a pilot project to sponsor 10 electric vehicle charging stations for October. Commissioner Mark Sharpe, District 7, marks the start of developing the infrastructure for the anticipated increase in electric vehicle use by consumers seeking cleaner and cheaper energy alternatives. The ChargePoint charging stations themselves are free, as well as maintenance during this pilot project. Hillsborough County will only pay for their installation and electrical usage.
Initial proposed charge station locations as part of Hillsborough County’s effort include:
- 2 – County’s Pierce Street Parking Garage, 319 N. Pierce St.
- 2 – St. Pete Times Forum, 401 Channelside Drive
- 1 – Environmental Protection Commission of Hillsborough County, 3629 Queen Palm Drive
- 1 – Jimmie B. Keel Regional Library, 2902 W. Bearss Ave.
- 1 – Jan Kaminis Platt Regional Library, 3910 S. Manhattan Ave.
- 1 – Brandon Regional Library, 619 Vondenburg Road
- 1 – Town ‘N County Commons, 7606 Paula Drive
- 1 – Hillsborough Community College, 4001 W. Tampa Bay Blvd.
Commissioner Sharpe stated, “It’s important to note that for every charging station that’s installed, there’s a creation of three jobs.”
Each charging station will be connected to a network allowing drivers to locate stations, availability and cost by going online or through a smart phone. The cost for parking at a charging station has yet to be determined. Each station will be able to charge electric vehicles from all major car makers.
“Cleaner energy produced right here in America will, over time, help make us less dependent on foreign oil,” said Commissioner Sharpe. “The way we drive and how we get our energy is going to change as well, and we’ve got to be on the cutting edge.”
We must ask ourselves: “Is this a proper or productive allocation of our tax money?” With present budget constraints, what services will be impacted by this diversion of funds?
Just yesterday an article in Yahoo News “Are electric cars actually bad for the environment?” reveals that “Not only do electric vehicles produce just as much carbon in their overall cycle as internal-combustion engines, the need to replace the batteries actually makes them less green than current technology.” If we want a cleaner way to get around, “the answer is natural gas, not electric vehicles”, according to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air..
On top of this latest information, why should those who drive electric cars get free electric charges while everyone else is paying the highest prices this country has ever experienced for gasoline? How may electric or hybrid cars are actually on the roads in Tampa?
Oh, and don’t forget, the end of that plug is connected to a fossil fuel energy supply.