Volta Inc., an industry-leading electric vehicle charging and media company, has announced a collaboration with Tucson Electric Power, an electric utility serving more than 438,000 customers in Southern Arizona, to install critical public EV charging infrastructure in and around disadvantaged communities in the Tucson area.
Volta will install eight EV charging stalls at high-traffic locations, such as grocery stores and entertainment venues, to ensure these communities have convenient and affordable charging options. These public options are especially critical for renters (nearly 40% of Tucson residents) and residents of multifamily housing (over 30% of housing in the U.S.), and others who do not have access to charging at home.
This collaboration with TEP is an extension of Volta’s Charging For All initiative, through which Volta seeks to ensure that all Americans have access to affordable and easy-to-use public charging. Charging For All is aligned with the Biden-Harris Administration’s Justice40 goal, which aims to direct 40 percent of the overall benefits of certain federal investments to disadvantaged communities. Justice40 applies to the $7.5 billion of funding allocated towards public EV charging infrastructure buildout under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act.
“By partnering with TEP, Volta is bringing critical EV charging infrastructure to disadvantaged communities in Tucson. This collaboration is a model of how charging network operators, like Volta, can support Justice40 goals now and as federal investments are distributed,” said Brandt Hastings, chief commercial officer at Volta. “Volta continues to prioritize EV charger installations that are accessible to all. This work includes leveraging our PredictEV® infrastructure planning platform, which uses behavioral science and machine learning technology to help commercial property owners, cities, and electric utilities plan EV infrastructure intelligently, efficiently and equitably.”
The large digital displays integrated into Volta’s chargers grab the attention of everyone who passes by and provide a powerful reminder that public chargers are already available in the community — an important factor when deciding to switch to an EV. These media screens comprise the Volta Media™ Network. By building not just a network of chargers but a dual energy and digital advertising platform, Volta can generate revenue from the moment charging stations are installed. This advertising revenue allows Volta to build critical EV charging infrastructure in all types of communities, regardless of how many drivers own an EV in that area today. Further, it unlocks the ability for Volta and partners to subsidize the cost of charging sessions for drivers where suitable, delivering safe and affordable charging near the front doors of commercial properties and retail locations. Currently, Volta’s Level 2 charging stations are free to use for the first two hours.
TEP offers special electric rates and rebates to support residential customers seeking to reduce their vehicle fuel and maintenance costs while shrinking their carbon footprint by investing in EVs. TEP is also utilizing the Volta Media Network to promote energy efficiency programs available to its customers.
“As an energy provider, we want to ensure all of our customers can experience the sustainability and financial benefits of electric transportation,” said Camila Martins-Bekat, TEP senior market development representative. “Through our work with Volta, we’re bringing EV charging to historically underserved communities while educating customers about ways to manage their energy costs.”
The first two chargers were recently installed at Cinemark Theatres, located at 1300 East Tucson Marketplace Blvd. and are ready for immediate use by EV drivers.