Tampa plugs into the future of transportation

Tesla Model X

Each Tesla is wrapped in HART’s blue and white colors, with decals highlighting the private businesses that are providing financial support.

Although it was slightly cloudy Monday morning at the University of South Florida’s Marshall Student Center, the future of transportation in the bay area was shining bright.  The USF Tampa campus – one of Tampa’s most popular transit areas – is where leadership with the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART) Authority, local elected officials and funding partners, including TECO, unveiled four new Tesla Model X all-electric vehicles that will support HART’s HyperLINK.

Tesla Model X

A Model X with Falcon Wings open at the Marshall Student Center.

Developed as a first/last mile solution, HyperLINK is a service that connects riders to HART’s expansive transit system by offering rides to and from local bus stops to the riders’ final destination. Riders in the USF area will be able to get to their final destination using a HyperLINK app to call on one of these all-electric Teslas for just $3. Designed to drive 250 miles with zero emissions on a full charge, HART will install super chargers that will repower the Model X battery in about 30 minutes.

“If we’re going to compete on a global stage, we need to do things differently,” said Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn. Hillsborough County is the first location in the country to use Tesla vehicles as a transit solution.

Tesla Model X

Rob Bennett poses for a shot with the Tesla Model X all-electric vehicle.

With a history of providing electrified solutions and community support to the bay area for more than 100 years, Tampa Electric was honored to step up along with other generous partners to provide the financial support required to add these four Teslas to HART’s fleet.  “We’re excited about providing the power that will energize the future of transportation,” said Rob Bennett, chief operating officer, TECO Energy.

Once the unveiling was complete, test drives were in order.  Up to seven packed into each Model X. As soon as the unique Falcon Wing doors closed, the electric vehicles took off down the road without sound. Visit tampaelectric.com/ev to learn more about the benefits of driving electric.

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