Will Electric Car Owners be Banned from Florida Highways?

Jeff Siegel

Written By Jeff Siegel

Posted March 7, 2023

Despite continued and rapid adoption of electric vehicles, some lawmakers still don’t get it.

The latest case of EV ignorance and bureaucratic buffoonery comes from Florida where state senator Jonathan Martin suggested banning electric vehicles from evacuating during hurricanes, making the following statement during a discussion on charging stations at the Senate Select Committee on Resiliency.

With a couple of guys behind you, you can’t get out of the car and push it to the side of the road. Traffic backs up. And what might look like a two-hour trip might turn into an eight-hour trip once you’re on the road.

My concern is there’s not an infrastructure currently available in the state of Florida for the amount of EVs that might be used to evacuate, on evacuation routes, during a time of emergency.

I guess no one told the Senator that internal combustion vehicles can run out of gas on the highway and hold up traffic, too.

As far as I’m concerned, this is just one more case of oppositional idiocy that continues to make it difficult for this country to embrace progress.

If the Senator was really concerned about safety during an evacuation, he would seek to provide infrastructure that he says isn’t available in Florida, instead of denying the free movement of Florida EV owners. 

Worth noting: If Martin did want to pursue this via legislation, I’m sure it would serve as a violation of the 14th amendment. 

Of course, I am jumping the gun here.

Senator Martin simply made a comment, and made no mention of creating a law that would ban EV owners from evacuating during hurricanes. 

But as Michelle Lewis from electrek.co noted here, Martin has significant influence in the Sunshine State, and thus makes his comments worrisome. 

Seeing how he sits on two committees that require more than a rudimentary knowledge of EVs and EV infrastructure, he has a responsibility to Florida residents to educate himself – like, now – since he has a direct influence on EV infrastructure rollout in the state that’s ranked second in the US for highest EV ownership.

I suspect, given the rapid adoption of electric vehicles in Florida, the Senator’s comments will be met with harsh criticism from EV owners and the top-selling EV brands in the state, too, such as Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA), Nissan (OTCBB: NSANY), GM (NYSE: GM), and Ford (NYSE: F).

Understand, I don’t know the senator, personally, and I’m not suggesting he’s a bad person.  But in this case, he’s clearly showing a level of incompetence. 

As far as I know, there has never been a recorded incident of an EV blocking traffic during a hurricane evacuation.

In fact, the only thing I remember about electric cars during the last big storm in Florida was this video showing what happens to an electric car in those hurricane flood waters.

Click the image below to see for yourself …



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