New EV innovation center at Miller Electric will ‘move Jacksonville forward in sustainable way’

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Miller Electric broke ground Friday on a new innovation design center for electric vehicles that will pave the way for the future as more people move away from traditional transportation.

The cutting-edge facility, which will be at the Miller Electric Company campus on Southpoint Parkway, will be open to both its clients and the public.

Miller Electric CEO Henry Brown said the center will include chargers of all kinds for people to use, and the center will also be about exploring and learning more about EV technology.

“This is an area that will be well-lit, it’ll be safe, they can pull in, they can charge and they can see for themselves what chargers they like as well as get a charge on their vehicle,” Brown said.

Brown said he’s hearing that in the next 10 years or so, roughly half of all cars up for sale will be electric. That’s why doing this now — rather than later — is a win for Jacksonville.

“We’re just now at the very infancy of this industry,” Brown said.

Jacksonville Mayor Donna Deegan agrees.

“If we’re the leader, that creates all sorts of job opportunities, workforce opportunities, so this is exactly the type of technology I’d like to see as we grow in Jacksonville,” Deegan said.

She pointed out that having more public chargers accessible will make owning an electric vehicle feasible for more people in the city.

“Also, the new center will solidify Jacksonville as a hub of innovation and technology, and it’s my hope that this testing ground will bring more EV industry leaders to our city,” Deegan said. “This is exactly the type of technology that will move Jacksonville forward in a sustainable way.”

Brown said with this project on the way, Jacksonville will be at the forefront of this evolving movement.

“People say we’re at the top of the first inning, so for us, it’s important to really get ahead of it,” Brown said. “We’re trying to position Jacksonville as the leader in EV charging.”

The design center will showcase the latest sustainable technologies, including inductive charging, solar canopies, battery storage, micro-grids, and transparent use-case data, allowing clients to witness the environmental benefits of these innovations.

The center will house a diverse array of EV technologies and microgrid solutions, empowering clients to make informed decisions by exploring various manufacturer solutions. With seven Level 3 chargers and four Level 2 chargers from multiple manufacturers and software providers, the center offers clients -- and the public -- a chance to test and evaluate different options.

About the Author:

Ashley Harding joined the Channel 4 news team in March 2013. She reports for and anchors The Morning Show.