Project Get Ready: Hillsborough County Embraces Electric Car Initiative

The Hillsborough County Commission has unanimously approved a resolution to move forward with a program that encourages the use of electrically powered vehicles.

The commission has elected to take part in Project Get Ready, a national initiative that aids cities in switching from gas-powered to electric vehicles (EVs). According to County Commissioner Rose Ferlita, the regional initiative will be led locally by the Tampa Regional Planning Council.

"Project Get Ready is a great fit for what we have already put in place and continue to expand here in Hillsborough County," says Ferlita. "Our sustainability efforts include focusing on a countywide alternative transportation vehicle plan that includes electric as well as natural gas vehicles.

According to Ferlita, the project's goals include:

* attracting original equipment manufacturers to Tampa Bay
* educating the public about the positive economic impact and potential growth in green jobs a communitywide switch to EVs may offer
* reducing vehicle and total green house gas emissions
* increasing use of alternative and/or innovative energy and decreasing dependence on traditional fuel sources

Research indicates that one electric car reduces carbon emissions by approximately 66 percent and costs less than $1 a day to drive. According to the Get Ready website, Tampa Bay is a case study in which challenges such as coordinating utilities will be addressed and hopefully serve as a best practices model for other cities to embrace electrically powered vehicles.

"Transportation is a key component," says Ferlita. "Not only for Hillsborough County but for the entire Tampa Bay region. We're looking at multimodal and I support that. But, we must also look at 'multifuel' opportunities as we move forward."

Writer: Missy Kavanaugh
Source: Rose Ferlita, Hillsborough County Commission
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