Built in the late 1800s, the Tampa Bay Hotel was – and still is – a symbol of the city and its history. The historic building features instantly recognizable Moorish architecture, topped by minarets, domes and cupolas. Guests, including Teddy Roosevelt and the Queen of England, often arrived by train to stay at what was once a luxurious winter resort.
Fast forward to 2022, and it’s students and faculty arriving at what is now the University of Tampa (UT) campus. Instead of disembarking from trains, they can pull up to an electric vehicle (EV) charger to charge up while on campus, thanks in part to Tampa Electric’s Drive Smart pilot program.
“Adding EV chargers is just one of many initiatives we’re undertaking to be a green campus,” said Marty Sorrentino, energy solutions manager at UT. “The chargers help us gain credits toward campus buildings that are LEED certified. We plan to add additional chargers as demand grows.”
UT also upgraded to more energy-efficient lighting, heating and cooling equipment, and is installing solar panels. It is a founding member and sustaining partner member of the U.S. Green Building Council Gulf Coast Chapter.
What is Drive Smart?
Drive Smart is a pilot program of Tampa Electric that will install more than 200 EV chargers across West Central Florida. The intent is to learn firsthand how EV drivers charge their vehicles and also help increase customer confidence in the availability of public charging locations.
“As the adoption of EVs continues to grow, it will be vitally important that charging infrastructure is available to meet growing demand, which also requires proper utility planning,” said Kenneth Hernandez, business development manager for Tampa Electric.
To run the pilot, we need the help of local organizations. It is an exceptional opportunity to enter the EV charger market, as Tampa Electric will pay the first $5,000 required to install a charger.
Forward-thinking institutions, like UT, understand EV chargers are a great way to keep and attract customers, and show a commitment to the environment.
Tampa Electric business customers interested in receiving an EV charger are encouraged to complete an application at tampaelectric.com/EV.