The City of Tempe is transitioning to a clean transportation infrastructure in endeavors to help restore the climate.

The city has set a goal to be carbon neutral by 2050 and investing in renewable energy is how Tempe plans to achieve this, according to the Tempe website.

The transition to clean technology will boost the local economy and improve public health while reducing Arizona’s pollution, Tempe Mayor Corey Woods said.

The American Lung Association ranked Phoenix among the nation’s worst cities for pollution in 2020.

Councilmember and climate activist, Lauren Kuby, said studies have shown that Arizonans will suffer the effects of climate change more than the rest of the country will.

Air pollutants have been linked to a variety of health problems like respiratory diseases, cardiovascular conditions, and premature death, according to the United States Environmental Protections Agency.

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Today, Arizona is leading the nation in the adoption of EVs.

The state houses three EV manufacturers such as Nikola Corporation, Lucid Motors, and ElectraMeccanica, according to Kuby.

The city plans to build a network of 500,000 EV chargers, thus creating manufacturing jobs in Tempe, said Kuby.

As the city begins to modernize its transportation infrastructure, Kuby said she sees “vast opportunities ahead.”

The city is currently conducting a feasibility study to find where the best locations are for EV charging stations, Woods said.

“We want to make charging stations an essential part of our infrastructure,” Kuby said.

Clean technologies are making headway statewide.

The Arizona Department of Transportation is in the process of building charging stations on Interstate 10 between the California border and New Mexico border.

EVs seem to be Arizona’s best chance at decreasing air pollutants, according to Dr. Michael Kuby from Arizona State University’s School of Geographical Sciences & Urban Planning.

Dr. Kuby said, “Electric vehicles are our only realistic solution.”