OUC’s Robinson Recharge Mobility Hub eased into operation with an unadvertised soft launch on June 19 and will be followed by a grand opening celebration tentatively scheduled for mid-July. Located on Robinson Street near North Garland Avenue, between I-4 and the SunRail train tracks in downtown Orlando, the hub is the largest of its kind in Florida. The site includes six 240-kilowatt (kW) and 15 120kW Level 3-rated chargers capable of recharging all makes of EVs. Using either type of charger, it takes about 20 minutes to charge an EV battery for at least 100 miles of range. Power Electronics, an OUC partner on the project, built and supplied the charging dispensers.

“We are excited about the opportunity for EV owners in the downtown area to have access to high-speed charging,” said Thom Nealssohn, who as Director of New Products & Market Development is overseeing the launch of the facility. “The opening of the Robinson Recharge Mobility Hub marks a milestone in OUC’s initiative to reduce CO2 emissions by supporting the electrification of transportation.”

Recharge hubs, like this one, can help reduce concerns EV drivers may have about finding a convenient location to charge, especially for long-range trips. As EV charging becomes more accessible, consumers can feel more confident about making the switch from an internal combustion engine to an electric vehicle.

The hub was originally scheduled to open in 2021 but ran into construction delays due to supply chain disruptions and design changes to charging dispensers. The $2.9 million project was partly funded by a $500,000 grant that partners OUC, Power Electronics, the City of Orlando and Orange County secured from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). OUC covered most of the remaining costs of the project and donated property for the hub. CHA Engineering oversaw site engineering while Aireko Construction built the facility.

In 2022, DEP awarded the OUC-led partnership up to an additional $500,000 grant to build a high-speed charging hub at the Orange County Convention Center South Concourse parking lot. Construction is anticipated to begin this fall. The site will initially offer three dual 240kW dispensers but could add as many as 12 Level 2 chargers in the future. OUC plans to build six more charging hubs by 2030.