Miami’s electric car future
This is the August 9, 2022 edition of the Opportunity Miami newsletter written by Matt Haggman, which we send every Tuesday. Click here to subscribe to get our weekly updates in your inbox.
Miami — and sometimes Florida, too — can buck conventional wisdom.
Case in point: Florida ranks number two among all US states in the percentage of electric cars on the road. Or, perhaps even more surprising, the second-biggest electric vehicle car charging network company in the country (excluding Tesla) is based here in Miami Beach. The name: Blink Charging Co.
Around the world, automakers, entrepreneurs, and investors are betting big that the cars of the future will be electric. Already, the most valuable carmaker globally only produces electric vehicles, Tesla. Electric car startups, such as Rivian and Lucid, have launched. Incumbents, from General Motors to Mercedes-Benz, are quickly transitioning — the electric version of the Ford 150 pickup went on sale this year.
It’s a key shift that presents an enormous opportunity. Transportation is the biggest emitter of climate warming gas both globally and in Greater Miami, accounting for 55 percent of emissions in Miami-Dade County. So how can Miami be a place that is helping build this emission-free car future and reap the benefits of the jobs and economic growth that comes with it?
Greater Miami has a head start with Blink. For our latest On Site, we hear from Rebecca Gutierrez, Blink’s VP of Marketing and Public Relations.
“I absolutely believe that electric vehicles will replace internal combustion vehicles, and EV chargers will be the gas station of the future,” said Gutierrez.
You can watch On Site Part One here.
This is our fourth On Site. Each video series seeks to see and hear from an entrepreneur or leader who is solving a problem critical to Miami’s economic future. There’s little doubt that building the infrastructure to support an electric car future is on the list.
For decades, we have refueled our cars at gas stations on street corners and along highways. But Blink is focused on developing a different model in which places to “refuel” are a ubiquitous, regular part of daily life. In this On Site, we not only learn about Blink but get a peek into how Blink thinks the EV charging future will look.
Rather than a trip to the gas station, the vision is you will charge while going about your routine — when your car is parked in your condo garage, at work, or while you shop for groceries.
“We are trying to make convenient charging wherever you go,” Gutierrez said. “It’s a different mindset.”
Gutierrez explains more in On Site Part Two here.
To be sure, we are in the early stages of this march to an electric car future. In May, just 4.6 percent of new vehicle registrations in the U.S. were electric. But, illustrating the growth, that’s more than double the rate in May 2021, when 1.9 percent of new vehicle registrations were electric.
This trend is expected to accelerate as the number of electric vehicle offerings increases. According to a recent report in Axios, 63 electric vehicles will be on the market this year. The numbers are expected to triple over the next four years, with some 192 different offerings by 2026.
When it comes to the places people are driving electric vehicles, the biggest percentage is in California. It accounts for 39 percent of EVs on the road in the U.S. Florida is second at 6.7 percent, Texas is third at 5.4 percent, Washington state at 4.4 percent, and New York at 3.6 percent, according to a recent report in Axios.
Meanwhile, amid these changes, the proposed Inflation Reduction Act passed the U.S. Senate on Sunday and could speed the EV transition. The legislation would create new and expanded tax credits for purchasing electric vehicles if enacted. But, even if it doesn’t become the law, the trend lines are already clear as car makers spend billions on the electric shift.
Which raises the question, what should be done across Miami-Dade County to get ahead of this march to an EV future? And how can it be used as a catalyst to create more jobs and drive economic growth?
As always, we want to hear from you — whether it’s your take on Miami’s electric vehicle future or ideas on other topics we should explore. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or engage with us on social media. Please invite friends to subscribe to the newsletter here.
P.S. There is a search underway for the next President and CEO of the Miami-Dade Beacon Council, a position last held by the late Michael Finney. The county’s official economic development partnership supports Opportunity Miami. The job profile can be found here.