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Arizona clean energy news and information

Arizona making pro-business decisions in support of the growing electric-vehicle marketplace

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by Joe Rinzel, Employers for Renewable Energy

Around the globe and certainly in the U.S., demand for electric vehicles has been on a strong growth trajectory in recent years.

Consumers desire these vehicles because they are cheaper to fuel and maintain, they have a less harmful impact on the environment, and the growing number of models available each year gives prospective owners more choices.

Arizona has certainly been a leader in attracting EV manufacturers, with the planned facilities in Pinal County of two global brands: the luxury EV producer Lucid and the EV semi-truck maker Nikola. Policymakers deserve a lot of credit for seeing the value in the capital investment and the high-quality jobs that will come with these facilities.

Arizona Corporation Commissioners also deserve credit for encouraging market growth by moving forward with an innovative plan that fosters electric-vehicle use, development of charging infrastructure and smart rate designs that will allow the utilities to build out the necessary infrastructure. On July 10, the Arizona Corporation Commission overwhelmingly voted to pursue these electrification policies. They should be lauded for their efforts.

Arizonans have much to gain from robust EV use. Building out the market will mean drivers, rate payers and even all Arizonans will reap the benefits when you factor in lower utility bills, lower vehicle maintenance costs and improved public health.

  • For instance, an independent, in-depth analysis (M.J. Bradley & Associates) recently found that if one million electric vehicles were to be registered in Arizona in 2050, the state would see benefits of upwards of $3.7 billion statewide. Seven million EVs on the road would reap $31 billion in benefits to Arizonans.
  • These savings come in the form of direct fuel and maintenance savings for drivers, but also in less obvious ways like health benefits from lower greenhouse gas emissions, the establishment of an electric vehicle charging economy, and utility bill savings.

It’s also worth pointing out that Arizonans were recently polled on this issue, by a conservative, Republican pollster, WPA Intelligence. The firm found that:

  • A majority of Arizonans (60%) believe utility providers should expand programs that would enhance the growth of one million electric vehicles on the roads.
  • A majority (57%) also support an investment from our utility providers for electric vehicle charging infrastructure to be developed in underserved communities, such as highway corridors or rural areas, or in areas where the private sector is less likely to serve or invest.

Establishing smart policies that encourage economic growth is the road to prosperity and Arizona regulators are helping to drive a national conversation on efficiency, fiscal responsibility, and consumer-friendly policies and should be commended for their efforts.

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Arizona making pro-business decisions in support of the growing electric-vehicle marketplace

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