As electric vehicle (EV) adoption rates increase in Arizona, so does the need for a reliable and widespread charging network. Private investment is the key to building this network, but it is currently being constrained by the ability of power companies to participate in the EV charging market with advantages that private entities cannot hope to compete with and a rate structure that does not align with the realities of public EV charging.
In 2024 CAP is supporting Arizona Senate Bill 1637. This bipartisan legislation will help solve issues currently discouraging private investment in Arizona’s EV charging market. This bill will prohibit electric utilities from owning and operating EV charging stations. Under this legislation, if a utility wanted to get into the EV charging business, they could only do so through an unregulated subsidiary, without access to ratepayer funds. The bill also encourages the establishment of competitive and predicable rates for electricity for EV charging, crucial to providing the price transparency EV charging operators need. This bill has passed the Senate Finance and Commerce Committee and is now on the Senate floor.
The 2023 session saw the introduction of Senate Bill 1501 which would have helped address these issues currently discouraging private investment in Arizona’s EV charging market. This bill would have created a level playing field by preventing utilities from using ratepayer funds to own and operate EV charging stations and ensuring that utility affiliates operate under the same rates, terms and conditions as private entities. In addition to recognizing the importance of competitively neutral policies, the legislation also correctly identified that predictable and transparent rate structures, as opposed to demand charge pricing, are essential for private entities entering this nascent market. This bill passed the Commerce Committee but ultimately did not get a vote on the Senate Floor.