Phoenix private sector leads effort to build electric charging stations

Phoenix private sector leads effort to build electric charging stations

Article Originally Posted by AZBigMedia on October 24, 2022

Phoenix is estimating that 280,000 electric vehicles will be on the road by 2030, according to Phoenix’s roadmap to 2030. However, state efforts to implement electric charging stations are losing their charge and momentum. Instead, private companies and the federal government are stepping up to fill the gap.

In June 2022, Senate Bill 1151 stalled in the house. In the bill’s initial version it would have allocated $500,000 from Arizona’s general fund to launch a two-year pilot program to create electric charging stations. The bill underwent changes and its most recent rejected format stated the pilot program would be funded through federal money. If passed it would have given permission to any public or private entity to operate charging stations on public state-owned land using the money.

The funding conflicts continued in October when the Phoenix Environment and Sustainability subcommittee voted to deprioritize electrifying the city’s vehicles to the fourth most important project during the 2023 General Obligation bond program hearings. If the bond passes next year, $1.3 million dollars could be allocated for charging stations over five years. This is a small portion of the subcommittee’s $25 million dollars to disperse.

Meanwhile, efforts in the private sector are taking off. Arizona State University has built 132 total charging stations spread out over all four campuses since 2012. There are 108 Level one chargers and 24 Level two chargers. Level two chargers fill up cars faster.

Assistant Director of Community Services for ASU Parking and Transit Services JC Porter, says the chargers are able to be built from sales through parking permits. Additionally, consumers are charged each time they use the charger. It costs $0.78 per hour to use a level one charger and $1.25 dollars per hour to use a level two charger. Prices also go up the longer a charger is in service.

While not offered on ASU campuses, a more popular charger is the DC fast charger. DC fast chargers can go from an empty tank to 80% full in 30 minutes according to electric charging company Volt Charging.

The company offers access to level two and DC fast chargers in Phoenix for free. This is because the chargers are designed with touch screens that display advertisements when used by consumers. Ad revenue subsidizes these stations.