Arizona Corporation Commission approves daytime solar EV charging plan

The Arizona Corporation Commission has voted 4-1 in favor of a charging tariff for Arizona Public Service Company (APS) to incentivize electric vehicle charging during the day. EV owners are eligible for a discount when they charge their cars between 9 am and 3 pm, with the goal of increasing charging while solar energy production is highest.

“Programs like this are vital to ensuring that our utilities can support the growing adoption of electric vehicles with renewable solar energy,” Corporation Commission Chairwoman Lea Marquez Peterson said. “By encouraging businesses to install charging stations, the program can make it easier and more affordable for employers to offer workplace charging.”

The new tariff works in tandem with another program that encourages residential customers to charge late at night, during off-peak hours. EV owners now have the ability to receive a discount for charging at home late at night and at their workplace during the day. 

Beyond EV charging, the new tariff will support and strengthen the electric grid as a whole. The tariff will even out energy production levels throughout the day by increasing load during off-peak hours. Evening out energy production will ultimately save customers money by decreasing the total cost of electric utilities.

According to Chairwoman Peterson, the tariff both supports solar energy programs and benefits the grid by “shifting energy use to the times of day that we have abundant and inexpensive solar energy.”

This move comes at a time where EV popularity around the state is growing quickly. Nearly 29,000 electric vehicles were registered across the state as of June 2021. The Phoenix City Council has already made multiple moves to increase EV ownership, including installing 800 more charging stations and setting a goal of 280,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2030. 

With EVs making up 5% of all car purchases in 2021, EV popularity in Phoenix surpasses nearly all cities in the South or East Coast. 

Governor Ducey has made attracting businesses in the EV space to Arizona a priority. Between 2015 and 2020, Atlis Motor Vehicles, ElectraMeccanica, Lucid Motors, and Nikola Motors have all made major investments in Arizona.

Last year, Lucid Motors began producing its new EV models at its Casa Grande factory. Lucid projects that its factory will create around 15,000 jobs by 2024.

Nick Guptil

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