It’s not often a fully electric Tesla car pulls into the District Seven headquarters in Tampa. Now, they’ll have a reason to. On Wednesday, June 17, Secretary Paul Steinman and District Seven staff helped unveil the first ever electric vehicle charging station (EVCS) to be placed at a district office. The dedication ceremony of the two-port charging station served as the grand finale of an already successful and event-filled Executive Conference week, which included a Sunshine Skyway Bridge tour, a district bake-off and barbecue, and a visit from Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik.
The idea of installing an EVCS at a district office came about when FDOT Secretary Jim Boxold tasked two districts with making it happen – District Four and District Seven. From there the race was on, and a friendly competition between the two districts took shape.
District Seven Transportation Support Manager Angel Perez and District Facilities Manager Patricia Short were instrumental in making sure their district crossed the EVCS finish line first. Perez was able to secure the funding for the project, while Short conducted a district-wide survey to gather input on where exactly the EVCS should be installed. She also reached out to Tesla Motors in nearby Brandon to see if a vehicle would be available for display at the dedication ceremony. Not only was Tesla more than happy to swing by the District Seven office, they even gave employees the opportunity to take a ride in the 2015 Model S, which is fully electric and said to reach zero to 60 mph in 3.1 seconds.
“We are thrilled to see such passionate advocacy and want to thank you for supporting our shared mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable transportation,” Tesla Motors Regional Sales Manager Graham Carrol said in a letter to District Seven. “Investment in infrastructure goes a long way towards advancing that cause. Please accept our thanks and gratitude and pass them along to the rest of the FDOT community.”
Secretary Steinman would also like to congratulate District Four and Secretary Gerry O’Reilly for a hard-fought effort despite coming up just short of EVCS installation victory.