From left, Clint Bullock, General Manager & CEO, Mayor Buddy Dyer and OUC Board President Britta Gross commemorate the unveiling of EV chargers at the John H. Jackson Neighborhood Community Center.
Leaders of OUC and the City of Orlando April 1, 2021, unveiled two electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at a community center in the Parramore neighborhood. The event coincided with the activation of 98 other new EV chargers. Click here to view a video of the ceremony.
Altogether, OUC has installed 300 EV charging stations throughout its service territory.
OUC General Manager & CEO Clint Bullock said locating EV chargers throughout Orlando will help ensure that “all OUC customers have an equal opportunity for charging stations. The more strategically located charging stations we have, the more easily accessible they become, and thus, the more likely residents are to adopt this new technology. That’s why charging stations at neighborhood landmarks, like the John H. Jackson Neighborhood Center, are so important.”
Bullock joined OUC Board member Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, OUC Board President Britta Gross and City Commissioner Regina Hill, District 5, who represents the Parramore community, in sharing their visions of a coming wave of EVs on Orlando’s streets as used and new battery-powered models become more affordable.
“I expect cost parity between EVs and gasoline vehicles within the next five years or so, meaning that EVs will not only be less expensive to operate but will also be as cost-effective as a gasoline vehicle to buy or lease,” said Gross, who is the Managing Director of the Rocky Mountain Institute, a leading research center in sustainability and renewable energy solutions. Gross’ career includes 15 years with General Motors’ EV program. “But all of these advances in technology don’t mean much if we don’t have the infrastructure to support the future surge in demand. And that brings us back to why we’re gathered here today.”
Facilitated through a partnership between OUC, the City of Orlando and NOVACharge, the manufacturer of the charging stations and prime contractor on the project, the 100 Level 2 chargers are part of a joint effort to make EV ownership more convenient and curb tailpipe emissions. The latter objective is related to the city’s participation in ― with OUC’s support ― Bloomberg Philanthropies’ American Cities Climate Challenge, an initiative focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
“Our role here is to really help expand electric charging stations,” said Bullock. “And it’s not only about electric vehicle and charging transformation, it’s about Net Zero emissions – CO2 emissions reductions. As you know, OUC has a Net Zero plan by 2050, with interim goals of reducing CO2 emissions by 50% by 2030 and 75% by 2040. Electric vehicles are a key element in how we do that.”
To date, OUC has committed $45 million to innovative electrification programs. This year, OUC will open the largest Level 3 fast-charging EV facility in Florida. The Robinson Recharge Mobility Hub will be equipped with 20 plug-in stations capable of charging all kinds of EVs. Under construction on Robinson Street east of Interstate 4, the facility complements OUC’s efforts to increase Central Florida’s EV use to 40,000 vehicles by 2025, resulting in carbon emission reductions of approximately 200,000 tons per year.
Eva Reyes, who as Manager of Lighting also oversees OUC’s Own-It and Charge-It EV charging programs, oversaw the installation of 96 plug-in stations. The city took ownership of them after Reyes and her team completed the project and installed additional chargers on its own.