It might not be the Green New Deal, but what would you think about the Green New Wheel?

Arizona ranks No. 7 in the nation for its use of electric vehicles, according to the U.S. Department of Energy Alternative Fuels Data Center. 

In Phoenix, the excitement surrounding electric cars is steadily increasing as technology improves and outreach continues to grow.

The city of Phoenix ranks No. 5 in the nation for air pollution, but this can be reduced with the use of electric vehicles, according to Phoenix Electric Vehicle Program Manager Karen Apple.

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“Transportation is one of the largest sectors for greenhouse gas emissions,” Apple said. “By getting more electric vehicles adopted in the city by our residents, it will further decrease the greenhouse gas emissions.” 

Improving air quality is one of the main goals of the Climate Action Plan the city is in the midst of finalizing, according to Phoenix City Councilwoman Yassamin Ansari

Policies in the plan center around electric vehicles because they contribute to sustainability goals in Phoenix and do not release any tailpipe emissions. 

“It’s in the plan that our objective is to become the most sustainable desert city on the planet,” Ansari said.

Ansari leads the Phoenix Electric Vehicle Ad Hoc Committee, which aims to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles and improve the environment, air quality and public health. It is currently developing a plan to make electric vehicles more accessible and affordable for families in Phoenix. 

Compared with gasoline powered vehicles, electric vehicles have a lower maintenance cost. Electricity rates are more stable than gas prices, so charging a vehicle instead of filling it with gas can save a lot of money, according to Apple. 

“You don’t have oil changes, you don’t have spark plug changes, there are no emissions checks, there are no timing belts and brakes last longer,” Apple said. 

Phoenix offers incentives for owning an electric vehicle, including unrestricted access to HOV lanes. There are also grants, rebates and federal tax credits available for purchasing new and used battery powered vehicles.  

Looking toward the future, Phoenix hopes to increase its charging infrastructure and use of electric vehicles, according to Apple and Ansari.

By 2025, there will be around 165 different electric vehicle models on the market. This coincides with President Joe Biden’s recent executive order that calls for half of new car sales to be zero-emission vehicles by 2030.

“The city of Phoenix’s clean air, clean energy, and GHG emission reduction targets require an ever-increasing percentage of EV market penetration,” the Phoenix Climate Action Plan states.

Increasing community awareness about electric vehicles “encourages organizations, companies and cities to highlight the work that they are doing, which raises awareness among the public,” Ansari said. 

“It takes a lot of effort, but it’s important, because that is how people will get ready to move into the EV transition,” Apple said.