Originally published on CleanTechnica.
Sarasota County’s productivity and sustainability are alive and well. Thank you, Sustainable Sarasota, for the most recent initiatives promoting fresh air and planetary well-being. Sarasota’s newest program is “ChargeUP” — an Electric Vehicle Charging Station rebate program. This program provides rebates to certain types of businesses within Sarasota County to buy and install EV charging stations.
If you are in Sarasota County, take note, and the application period opens today, February 15. “The program is subject to limited funding availability, with rebates reserved on a first-come, first-served basis for approved applicants until funding is exhausted.” Learn more and prepare to apply at:
Sarasota County was the first local government in Florida to add EVs to its fleet and now is second in the state for the number of EVs per capita. Yes, whether you drive an EV or not, the growing abundance of EV drivers helps everyone. EVs keep the city’s air clean. Everyone benefits.
“Sarasota County has a history of leadership on Electric Vehicles (EVs). Recognizing the myriad potential benefits of EVs, the county has expressed support through resolutions, installation of charging stations and education programs since 2005,” the county’s EV page highlights.
Regarding the new incentives, nonprofits and government organizations can get rebates of up to 50% of the cost of a charging station (up to a $4,000 maximum), and businesses can save up to 25% of the cost (up to a $2,000 maximum).
Eligible locations, which were prioritized to “fill gaps in the current network of charging stations,” include:
- Tourism attractions
- Retail hubs
- Community centers
- Government properties with significant visitor numbers (county reserves the right to review the proposed location and discuss possible alternatives that attract more visitors)
- Major employers (more than 150 full-time equivalent employees at that location)
Furthermore, 30% of the rebate money “will be reserved for charging stations in southern Sarasota County (south of Blackburn Point Road) to help balance the distribution of charging stations in the county.” Clearly, the program is carefully thought out and aims to efficiently and effectively fill out a widespread and integrated charging network for EV drivers. It is this thoughtful, holistic, ecosystem-like approach that makes it easy for me to live with a Nissan LEAF and no home charging!
Here are a few more technical details of the new program:
The charging station must be:
- Level 2 (240-volt) charger with a SAE J1772 charging plug or a Level 3DC Fast Charger (480-volt) with two ports (SAE Combo and CHAdeMO connectors);
- Hardwired wall or pedestal mounted; and
- Installed by a qualified and licensed contractor in accordance with all applicable codes, permitting, and inspection requirements.
The Level 2 charging stations may be networked or non-networked, but must be listed on an online, publicly accessible charging station finder, such as PlugShare.com.
The Level 3 Fast Chargers must be networked. If networked, usage data must be shared with Sarasota County at least annually. All participants must respond to a survey on usage and experiences with the charger annually.
The organization may choose to charge a fee for vehicle use, but that fee may not be more than $1.50 per hour (or equivalent for combined kW fee and access fee). If the parking area has a fee already for all types of cars, it is permissible for the charging fee to be in addition to that.
Good work! Lee Hayes Byron, who heads Sarasota County Sustainability, as well as Stevie Freeman-Montes and Mark Lyons deserve a lot of credit for championing this program. For those of you not in Sarasota County, hopefully this is an inspiration and blueprint for a similar program in your area — be an EV leader!
As a fun side note, CleanTechnica director Zachary Shahan once interned for Sustainable Sarasota.
Reprinted with permission.