SRP Is Leading the Charge for Electric Vehicles

by Mike Hunter

Electric vehicle ownership has increased dramatically in the last seven years, according to Salt River Project, which has seen the numbers grow from four electric vehicles registered in Arizona in 2010 to more than 14,000 as of July 2018. In fact, after leveling out from 2014 to 2015, the adoption rate increased over the next three years by about 8,000. And now, as more drivers invest in EVs, companies are looking for ways to provide perks to employees who are driving low- and zero-emission modes of transportation.

Salt River Project — a community-based, not-for-profit public power utility and the largest provider of electricity in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area — created a program to help support that effort. Thanks in part to SRP’s Workplace EV Charging Rebate Program, more than 100 electric vehicle chargers have been installed at Valley businesses to date, providing those employees the opportunity to charge their low- and zero-emission vehicles while at work. Company officials are also able to charge their own fleet of electric vehicles.

One participating company is Freedom Financial Network. This company recently installed four chargers for employees to charge while at work at the company’s office in Tempe. Based on the success of those initial chargers, the company installed four more at its second building at Rio2100. “We took advantage of the SRP rebate program, and SRP’s expertise, to help purchase and install the chargers,” says Terri Candelaria, director of facilities and administration. “The ability to offer electric-vehicle chargers helps attract and retain high-quality employees while contributing to Maricopa County’s air quality. It’s an opportunity to demonstrate environmental leadership as a company.”

Driving electric can save money on fuel, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 to 50 percent as compared to an equivalent gasoline vehicle, and reduce emissions of ozone precursors. There are more than 8,300 plug-in electric vehicles in the SRP service territory and that number is increasing.

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