Gulfport Gets Electric Vehicle Charging Station

Gulfport Gets Electric Vehicle Charging Station

Michele Cavallo, a senior account executive with Progress Energy (now Duke Energy), explains how Gulfport’s new electric vehicle charging station works.

Saturday morning the entire city council unveiled the city’s new electric vehicle charging station. The city pays the power for the charging station, located just east of the Casino on Shore Boulevard. Michele Cavallo, an account executive with Progress Energy, brought a Nissan Leaf to demonstrate how the station worked.

According to Cavallo, Gulfport has one of eight stations in the area. St. Petersburg has three, St. Pete Beach has one by its city hall, Pinellas Park has two, and the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council has one. Councilwoman Jennifer Salmon and Vice Mayor Sam Henderson spoke with Cavallo after the unveiling about the possibility of using solar energy for the charger, which currently uses fossil fuel for power.

As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 the United States Department of Energy spent $1 million to fund 50 public charging stations within Progress Energy’s Florida service area.

To use the station, simply plug in the electric vehicle. The city will pay the cost of the energy for the next two years; after that time it may elect to ask the users to pay for the power.

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