The city has installed 16 electric vehicle chargers, which are free to use for residents and visitors.
Three new charging ports and seven updated ones await drivers of electric and plug-in hybrid cars around Sarasota, the city announced Tuesday, Jan. 9. The chargers, which were paid for by Florida Power & Light Co., are free to use for residents and visitors.
“This is a positive move to help incentivize people to switch to electric vehicles,” said Sarasota Sustainability Manager Stevie Freeman-Montes. “We want to provide as much help as we can, and we think this is a step in the right direction.”
There are now 16 public charging ports in the city. The newest ports are at these locations:
- Sarasota City Hall parking lot - 1565 1st St.: one port added, one port updated
- Palm Avenue parking garage -1289 N. Palm Ave.: two ports added, four ports updated
- St. Armands south parking lot - 58 Fillmore Dr.: two ports updated
The new and updated stations were created by ChargePoint, a company that uses a screen-based operating system to connect drivers to a network of more than 40,000 electric vehicle charging stations across the country. Sarasota spokeswoman Kate Flexter said the city chose to work with ChargePoint with the hope that its network's size and interconnectivity would help attract travelers in electric vehicles to stop in Sarasota.
Beginning with the installation of the city's first public electric vehicle port in 2011, the recent installations are the latest phase in a 30-year renewable and sustainable energy partnership between the city and FPL, which covers the energy costs of the stations. Flexter said the chargers are part of Sarasota's larger plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions, expand the use of renewable energy resources and create a more sustainable community.
"This factors into both our parking and sustainability plans," Flexter said.
In recent years, Flexter said there's been an increased demand and use of these chargers in Sarasota, leading to the new units. Along with the updated stations, city-provided chargers are available at the State Street parking garage and Bayfront Park, and more units are planned for the upcoming St. Armands parking garage.