PHOENIX — Earlier this week the Phoenix City Council unveiled its roadmap to start converting the city vehicle fleet to all electric.
Phoenix City Council Woman Yassamin Ansari chairs the committee on electric vehicles and says the goal of the newly proposed roadmap is to have 280,000 EVs on the road by the year 2030. An ambitious but important goal when it comes protecting the environment.
“There are countless benefits to electric vehicles whether you look at the air quality in Phoenix, and the fact that transportation accounts for more than half of greenhouse gas emissions here in Phoenix," Ansari said. "We have some of worst air quality in the country."
“We know already that electric vehicles are going to make a huge difference if people are able to make the switch from a fossil fuel powered vehicle to an electric vehicle when it comes to the air we breathe on a daily basis," she said.
The roadmap will also look to meet President Biden's goal to have 50% of new car sales be electric.
"Reducing our dependence on fossil fuel powered vehicles and focusing on clean transportation options means that every day Phoenicians will ultimately have a more affordable way to get around the city," Ansari said.
Pain at the pump has Phoenix drivers like Colby Mitchell thinking electric.
"This cost like $70 bucks just to fill up," he said while filling up his high end pick-up with gas.
He's still on the fence about buying electric himself, but fully supports the city's efforts to get people to drive EV's.
"I'm in big support of electric vehicles if you need it you know," he said.
As for the city, Ansari says buses are likely to go electric first.
"As we start to replace aging buses or any of our fleet, or purchasing new vehicles, lets look at the cleanest possible option, and the city should be leading the way," Ansari said.
The roadmap also calls for the city to install 500 electric vehicle charging stations, strategically placed across the city.
"We'll be looking at city parks libraries and all city owned facilities," she said as likely charging locations.
They haven't worked out an exact dollar amount yet, but Ansari says Phoenix will be submitting bids to take advantage of the $550 billion set aside for clean energy in the bi-partisan Federal Infrastructure Law.
"The City of Phoenix has robust goals, so we definitely need the support and the funding from the federal administration to get it done," she said.
Ansari says the council is looking for public input about the roadmap.
"We really want input from people across the city," she said. "We want to know what barriers are you currently facing? Would you consider getting an EV? Why or why not? What needs do you see in your community and what would make it easier for you to consider making that switch," she asked.
You can read the roadmap and take a survey on the city's website.
The council will vote to pass the proposed roadmap in June.