Florida is one of the states with the highest rates of electric vehicle (EV) adoption in the country, but the EV charging network has suffered due to large electric utilities such as Tampa Electric and Florida Power and Light receiving approval to own and operate hundreds of EV charging stations, boxing out private investment and limiting the competition and innovation crucial to a good consumer experience. For the past couple of years Charge Ahead Partnership has been advocating for legislation to level the playing field in the EV charging market, ensuring that a competitive market creates the best consumer experience for EV drivers.
Legislation has been introduced in Florida which will help to level the playing field in Florida’s EV charging market. House Bill 1645, an omnibus energy bill, includes provisions which will prevent public utilities from leveraging their monopoly status in the transportation fuel business by using ratepayer funds to recover the costs of electric vehicle charging investment.
In 2023, CAP supported Senate Bill 1176 and House Bill 1591. Both bills would have established free market competition and created a better consumer experience by prohibiting electric utilities from rate-basing, or using ratepayer funds, to build, own or operate EV charging stations. SB 1176 and HB 1591 would also have required the Florida Public Service Commission to establish uniform rates for the sale of electricity for EV charging. Unfortunately, neither of these bills progressed beyond their initial committee.
CAP was also actively engaged in Florida’s 2022 Legislative Session supporting both House Bill 737 and Senate counterpart Senate Bill 920. These bills included significant steps to make the EV charging market more free-market-oriented by requiring the Public Service Commission to make rules ensuring that the development of the EV charging network is competitively neutral. These rules would also have included placing a priority on private investment and ownership of EV charging stations, creating a fair electric rate for privately owned EV charging stations, limiting electric utility cost recovery and prohibiting investor-owned electric utilities from using rate-based investment in EV charging ownership and operation. SB 920 passed the Regulated Industries Committee with strong support but did not progress past the Transportation Committee. HB 737 received similarly strong initial support, reporting favorably from the Tourism, Infrastructure & Energy Subcommittee, before stalling in the Commerce Committee.