The future will happen first in Arizona. That’s because Phoenix and Tucson made a list we can be proud about – we’re one of six states selected to deploy “smart” charging stations as part of an electric vehicle (EV) program funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. Thousands of charging stations will soon be placed throughout our region and 900 zero-emission Nissan LEAF electric vehicles will rollout in our metro areas.
As a project stakeholder, Valley Forward Association was privileged to participate in a press conference at the Desert Botanical Garden to officially unveil ECOtality’s plans to electrify Arizona’s Sun Corridor.
ECOtality is a leader in clean electric transportation and storage technologies and is facilitating The EV Project, the largest electric vehicle infrastructure venture ever undertaken. It will deliver 15,000 residential and commercial charges to 16 cities in six states.
Part of the planning process included the involvement of local government agencies and regional stakeholders to ensure the proper locations for the charging stations. Collaboration on the infrastructure is essential to prepare Arizona for the next wave of electric vehicles and enable more rapid adoption. The company also evaluated a variety of factors, including population density, zoning regulations, employment centers and transportation routes, when developing the blueprint.
The goal of the project is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by making the Valley ‘plug-in ready’ and enhance alternative transportation efforts that encourage individuals to incorporate green technology into their lives. The success of EVs is dependent on charge infrastructure that makes recharging convenient, practical and cost-effective.
Standing in the way of wider spread EV adoption are perceptions and myths about how far the car will go on electricity – approximately 100 miles on a full charge – in addition to fears of being stranded, even though charging stations are being placed every 30 miles along most freeway systems. ECOtality plans to collect and analyze data from the vehicles and charging systems to characterize vehicle performance and the effectiveness of local charging infrastructure under various use patterns and climate conditions to prepare for the next deployment and help encourage additional adoption.
The EV deployment plan is good news for Arizona on several fronts, including more green jobs, less pollution and a reduction on foreign oil dependency.