Electric Transportation Equity in the Valley: Transportation Electrification Activator Team Brief
The electric transportation (ET) and electric vehicle (EV) landscape is currently inequitable and inaccessible for many living in the Phoenix area. This is especially true for people without single-occupancy vehicles (SOVs), who are reliant on public transit, or do not live in the Metropolitan center. Transit is intricately related to the environment and, due to societal and political structures, most of these environmental injustices are concentrated in low-income and minority communities. The lack of political representation within these communities has led to increased exposure to a variety of issues. Equitable transportation has also suffered due to a significant gap in addressing the needs of these underserved communities (Bolin, et al., 2005). The concentration of inequities and environmental injustices is a direct result of the lack of representation. Therefore, equitable and inclusive collaboration on solutions is required in order to maintain fairness and access, (Clement, 2020) considering the legacy of institutional harm within historically marginalized communities. The TE Activator was created by Salt River Project (SRP) and Anthesis Group, a sustainability consulting agency. The Activator is a group of Phoenix-area organizations interested in shaping the ET landscape to positively influence the well-being of Arizonans. With this in mind, they have asked our team to focus on making the transition to electric transportation equitable and inclusive. Our report details the current state of electric transportation nationally and locally, analyzes equitable EV/ET programs and utility plans across the country, and reviews the City of Tempe’s electric transportation related efforts. For this, we conducted listening sessions with a national expert, the City of Tempe, Tempe Community Action Agency, and CHISPA, creating a Community Listening Pilot Project based on the preliminary listening sessions. Through our research, listening, and discussions we compiled tiered recommendations for the TE Activator that suggest systemic policy changes based on community priorities. Accompanying the report is an Equity Roadmap, Community Listening Script, and one-page Debrief.