This guest blog written by New Port Richey Mayor, Rob Marlowe, highlights how forward-looking leadership can propel emerging technologies like electric vehicle charging in communities. Public EV charging distinguishes communities as a thriving destination-giving an economic advantage to neighboring areas who lack public charing. Adopting this clean technology also demonstrates a commitment to their citizens’ and community’s health with reductions in toxic emissions. Read on to learn Mayor Marlowe’s vision.
My son is in the US Navy. Two years ago, he deployed to Japan and left his Plugin Prius with us. The local Toyota dealer told us that it was a car that needed to be driven, so I took on that responsibility. It didn’t take long for me to appreciate how much of my driving I could do without gasoline. My last fill up netted right at 105mpg. My Silverado now spends most of its time in the driveway. I signed the Next Car Pledge last fall and the only question at this point will be whether my next car will have a gasoline engine to go along with the electric motor.
I’m not the only one around New Port Richey that has discovered how nice it is to not spend hundreds of dollars a month at the gas station. There are folks from all walks of life and all political persuasions that are driving plugin vehicles. EVs and plug-in hybrids simply make sense from both an environmental and an economic point of view. Seeing a growing number of plug-in vehicles on the city streets, I pushed last summer to get funds in this year ’s capital budget to install charging stations.
City staff looked at various options and selected dual port ChargePoint stations. The first station went live in February at our Recreation and Aquatic Center. The second station went live at Sims Park. A third station will be installed in the city hall / public library complex sometime in the near future. I am hopeful that local businesses will follow suit and install charging stations as well.
New Port Richey is experiencing a renaissance. We have concentrated on investing for the future. EV charging stations, with 110v plugs on the side for our growing number of golf carts, fit right in with my vision of a forward-thinking, progressive city.
I also foresee a day in the near future when it will make economic sense for the city to start purchasing EVs for our city motor pool. Code enforcement officers and building officials could easily do their jobs with EVs. The low operating costs of EVs would save taxpayer dollars.
Thank you, Mayor Marlowe, for your commitment to implement cleaner technologies that will serve your community now and in the future. Adopting sustainable practices like installing EV infrastructure is a practical solution for municipalities to reach their economic, energy, and health goals. Hopefully, your leadership will inspire other elected officials to learn more and adopt similar practices.