As of early 2022, Arizona still lacks significant binding clean energy goals or transportation decarbonization measures. Western Resource Advocates (WRA) commissioned GridLab and Evolved Energy Research for a joint study to investigate the impacts of transportation electrification in Arizona. This study analyzes various pathways to decarbonizing Arizona’s economy by 2050 to meet emission reduction goals set out by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), with a particular focus on the relative costs of different decarbonization strategies in Arizona’s transportation sector. In this transportation sector brief, we also recommend policies that utilities and state and local decision makers can develop to help Arizona realize the economic and climate benefits that our study results outline.
In our analysis, six scenarios were developed, each looking at a specific set of assumptions and sensitivities about potential policies to enable the transition away from internal combustion engines (ICE). The Clean Car and Truck scenario, in which 100% of light-duty vehicle sales are electric by 2035, 100% of medium-duty vehicle sales are electric by 2040, and heavy-duty vehicle sales are 100% electric or hydrogen fuel-cell by 2040, represents the least-cost pathway for Arizona to decarbonize transportation. Three other unique demand-side scenarios are considered, including: No Transportation Action, Maximum Feasible Adoption, and Delayed Action. Two additional scenarios evaluate the impact of Arizona meeting an accelerated Clean Energy Standard. Each of these scenarios evaluates the broad impacts of differing levels of electric vehicle (EV) adoption. Our analysis found that failing to take steps to achieve rapid transportation electrification will cost Arizona consumers $13.7 billion in additional annual energy spending in 2050 by stranding them with high future costs, compared with the Clean Car and Truck scenario that outlines a quick transition to EVs.