Tucson Electric Power joined 50 other utilities in a national coalition designed to install more fast charging ports along major travel corridors across the country by the end of 2023.
“We’re committed to leading the way in the clean energy transformation, and electric vehicles are a big part of the effort to reduce carbon emissions across the country,” said Dallas Dukes, vice president of Customer Experience, Programs and Pricing for TEP. “This coalition is similarly committed to ensuring EV drivers have confidence that the charging infrastructure they need is in place to support their plans, no matter where their travels take them.”
The National Electric Highway Coalition, which also includes one electric cooperative and the Tennessee Valley Authority, was formed under the umbrella of the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), an association that represents investor-owned utilities in the United States.
To date, EEI’s member companies have invested more than $3 billion in customer programs and projects to deploy EV charging infrastructure and to accelerate electric transportation. As EV sales continue to grow, EEI estimates that more than 100,000 EV fast-charging ports will be needed to support the projected 22 million EVs that will be on U.S. roads in 2030.
In Arizona, transportation electrification is expected to yield as much as $28 billion in benefits to the state through reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, local air pollutants, and gasoline consumption, according to the Arizona Statewide Transportation Electrification Plan. The plan, filed with the Arizona Corporation Commission in 2021, sets a goal of over 1 million EVs on the road by 2030.
TEP is working to drive the growth of electric vehicles in a number of ways, including through:
- Residential incentives to offset the cost of installing home charging systems and to offer special charging rates to help EV owners save money by charging outside of peak hours.
- Commercial incentives that provide attractive discounts on purchase and installation costs for chargers.
- Fleet conversion to assist local governments with their carbon reduction goals.
- Customer education to build awareness of EV benefits.
- Public charging infrastructure to ensure equitable access to EV chargers.
TEP's participation in the national coalition aligns with the statewide plan’s emphasis on the importance of charging infrastructure.
“By merging and expanding the existing efforts underway to build fast charging infrastructure along major travel corridors, we are building a foundational EV charging network that will help to encourage more customers to purchase an electric vehicle,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. “We owe a great deal of gratitude to the electric companies that created so much momentum at the regional level, paving the way for us to expand this effort nationally.”
With scores of new battery-electric vehicles coming to market over the next couple of years, the time is now to get the charging infrastructure sited, built, and funded, said Philip B. Jones, Executive Director of the Alliance for Transportation Electrification. “Federal infrastructure funding will help a great deal in this effort, but this is only a down payment of a much larger effort,” he said. “Electric companies, which are regulated by state commissions, can help leverage all funding sources, help fill the infrastructure gaps, and help manage the deployment of these chargers with a long-term view.”