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Downtown Phoenix event highlights latest developments in electric cars

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

PHOENIX — The Arizona Transportation Electrification Forum on Tuesday brought together key players in the growing electric-vehicle marketplace, including manufacturers, state decision makers, educators and utility companies.

“Last year, sales of electric vehicles in Arizona grew by 140%,” Joel Levin with Plug In America told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

Plug In America is the national association of electric vehicle drivers. They helped lead the event hosted at Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.

Participating in the forum was Travid Madsen with the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project. He told KTAR News he was particularly excited about all the areas Arizona currently has available for growth.

“Representatives from Arizona’s utilities companies are here and the Arizona Corporation Commission recently passed a policy that allows Tucson Electric Power and Arizona Public Service Company to make real investments into transportation electrification,” Madsen said.

“So to make this work, we are going to need to make sure there are places to plug these vehicles in.”

With different electric cars lining Taylor Street, participants were able to test drive a variety of electric cars, see the latest zero-emissions vehicles and hear from companies and decision makers from around the country who are bringing clean cars and electric-car manufacturing to Arizona.

Tesla was one of the many electric vehicle companies represented at the forum. The company allowed KTAR News to take a test drive of one of their Model 3s.

The forum was an exclusive opportunity to learn about the future and benefits of electrified travel, ways Arizona can accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles, and new projects and policies supporting more EVs on our roads.

“Overall in the country, electric vehicles are 2.1% of vehicles sales, and in Arizona they are about 2.4,” Levin said.

Leading when it comes to sales, Arizona has proven to be able to continue growth when it comes to this industry.

“Technological leadership, local manufacturing, the idea that instead of bringing your fuel from across the world, you can run your car on something that is abundant here — which is sunshine,” Levin added.

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