UCF’s FSEC Energy Research Center is a leader in electric transportation study and it is ready to help the new group charge on.

UCF is part of a new coalition of more than 60 public and private organizations charging forward to address the electric transportation market and infrastructure challenges in the Southeast region of the U.S.

More and more people across the nation are turning to electric vehicles for their cheaper fuel costs and lower maintenance requirements. Challenges remain, however, like finding charging stations during long trips, greater upfront costs, and limited models and sizes of EVs. Transitioning to an all-electric transportation system would provide consumers more EV options, and has the potential to trigger an economic boon of up to $47 billion for the region, according to the new coalition. Other regions are quickly moving in this direction and reaping some of the benefits, but the South is a little behind, prompting the creation of the Southeast Electric Transportation Regional Initiative (SETRI).

The SETRI coalition will focus on EV market challenges, such as charging and infrastructure gaps, accessibility, EV model availability and cost, policy guidance, and consumer awareness — while unlocking untapped opportunities for economic development, job growth, enhanced energy security, and reduced environmental impacts.

The FSEC Energy Research Center (FSEC ERC) at UCF is a leader in electric transportation research and the advancement of electric vehicle initiatives. That’s why joining the group was a natural move for the UCF center.

“We have a long history in transportation electrification initiatives and research, and we look forward to collaborating with members of the Southeast Electric Transportation Regional Initiative,” says James Fenton, director of the FSEC Energy Research Center. “Electrifying our transportation system and improving our grid infrastructure will accelerate job growth, increase resiliency and help us reach net zero emissions by 2050.”

FSEC ERC is a founding member of Drive Electric Florida, a multi-stakeholder organization promoting the growth of electric vehicle ownership and its related infrastructure in Florida. FSEC ERC also led two federal agency programs focused on alternative transportation deployment and research – the Central Florida Clean Cities Coalition (US DOE) and the Electric Vehicle Transportation Center (US DOT).

“SETRI’s ability to convene and partner with experts around a common table is one of its most promising aspects [of the initiative],” says Rich Simmons, principal research engineer at Georgia Tech and part of the steering committee that conceived SETRI. “While focused closely on regional gaps and opportunities, SETRI can also serve as an important model for other regions.”

View SETRI’s Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and the list of more than 60 inaugural members.