Clean Energy Groups: Arizona Corporation Commission’s New Electric Vehicle Policy Lays the Groundwork for Transportation Electrification Across the State

WRA and SWEEP have supported the Commission’s work to help Arizonans leverage the benefits of electric vehicles

Late yesterday, the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) and Western Resource Advocates (WRA) lauded a new forward-thinking policy adopted by the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) that will support greater use of electric vehicles (EVs) statewide. The policy encourages regulated utilities to invest in infrastructure and develop programs that support EV charging and widespread transportation electrification.

The ACC’s policy will help Arizonans realize the many benefits of more clean cars on Arizona’s roads, including reduced utility bills for all customers and improved air quality. WRA, SWEEP, and 15 other stakeholders—including EV businesses, environmental groups, and consumer groups—recently submitted comments to the ACC to help strengthen the Commission’s plan for transportation electrification in Arizona. Their recommendations include encouraging utilities to invest in EV infrastructure and directing them to develop EV infrastructure pilot programs and comprehensive plans over the next year.

“Arizona will reap enormous economic and public health benefits from the widespread adoption of electric vehicles,” said Will Toor, transportation program director for the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project. “But this will only happen if electric utilities invest in the charging infrastructure that is needed to enable all Arizonans to know that they can get where they need to go in an electric vehicle. Yesterday's decision by the Arizona Corporation Commission sets a framework that will enable these important investments. We applaud the Commission’s action.”

“Arizonans have a lot to gain from greater electric vehicle use – from lower utility bills and vehicle maintenance costs to improved public health,” said Adam Stafford, Western Resource Advocates staff attorney in Phoenix. “The Arizona Corporation Commission’s new EV policy lays the groundwork for greater transportation electrification in Arizona and encourages utilities to invest in infrastructure that will benefit all customers. We applaud the Commission for adopting this policy and will continue working with them to develop innovative clean car programs.”

WRA and SWEEP recently released an independent analysis detailing the many benefits of greater EV use in Arizona. The report found that increased adoption of clean EVs would reduce utility costs for Arizona families, reduce transportation costs for drivers, support the local economy, and improve air quality for all Arizonans. Among the findings, if Arizona develops policies to support a rapid adoption of EVs, reaching one million EVs on the road by 2030 and over 7 million by 2050, it would generate $31 billion in net economic benefits statewide.

The draft policy the Commission considered on December 18th is available here.