Drivers: Jacksonville not equipped for electric cars

Published On: Apr 08 2014 10:55:29 PM EDT

Advocates believe electric cars are the wave of the future for a cleaner environment. A group called The Clean Fuels Coalition got together tonight with JEA to discuss how to make driving electric cars more affordable and convenient here in North Florida.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

A group called the Clean Fuels Coalition met with JEA Tuesday night to discuss how to make driving electric cars more affordable and convenient in North Florida.

Several owners of electric cars gathered Tuesday night to talk about energy savings with JEA. Owners of the electric Tesla can drive 300 miles before their cars need to be charged, but they say the problem is finding a spot to charge their vehicles in Jacksonville.

"I'm saving a lot of money on gas from switching over to this car," said Hybrid driver Pete King. "I only have to fill up one-third as much."

Electric car drivers told Channel 4 the problem is that there are only 10 charging stations in Jacksonville and they’re not very convenient.

Electric car drivers told JEA they want to see more charging stations in Jacksonville. Drivers are also asking JEA for an electricity break because they have to charge their cars off their homes.

"We're trying to get JEA to follow suit, but right now JEA charges the same rate whether you're charging at 3 a.m., when no one is using electricity, or if you're charging peak time, when everyone is turning their ACs on," said Tesla driver, Phil Axt. "I don't understand and that's what we're working on with JEA."

Even though electric cars have been around for a while, JEA said they are new to the game and are trying to figure out how they can fit in.

"We can't just say were going to do this, that; as a community we need to understand where our role is," said JEA program manager Peter King. "The only way to do that is to understand. It'll also help us keep an eye on what's going on. Technology is marching on pretty quick, there's no telling when battery technology might just turn and become who knows how much better."

JEA said they aren’t sure when or if they will start building more charging stations throughout Jacksonville. King told Channel 4 that JEA is in the very beginning stages of the project and the authority is still getting input from drivers on how they can help.

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