CleanTech Is Doing Great In Arizona

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A recent article at AZBIGMEDIA gave readers a roundup of the great cleantech efforts that have taken root in the state, including EV manufacturing, battery production/recycling, and more. The big message? Arizona seems to be doing a great job of attracting and keeping these businesses.

Here are a couple of cool quotes they gathered in the article:

“We see great potential in scaling up manufacturing in Arizona,” said Ampcera CEO Sumin Zhu. “The state is very business-friendly, there is a strong talent pool and many cost advantages. The presence of a growing EV supply chain in Arizona is also very attractive for our future business development.”

“Arizona has a vibrant culture to support startups,” Air2O co-founder and CEO Michael Sullivan said. “Simply having access to that local support means more than most people realize.”

One of the big things they pointed out was that Nikola Motors recently put out its first semi-trucks from a facility near Coolidge, Arizona. But it is far from the only player in the area. Lucid has a facility in Casa Grande, south of the Phoenix Metro Area. Electrameccanica is getting set up in Mesa, a suburb of Phoenix in the East Valley. Atlis Motors, a manufacturer building modular trucks, and Zero Electric Vehicles are also setting up shop in the East Valley, so it’s also becoming a tech hub.

All of these EVs are going to need batteries, and there are manufacturers of those setting up shop, too. LG Energy is setting up a facility in Queen Creek (also in the East Valley), and KORE Power is building in Buckeye, out west of the metro area. Li-Cycle, a company we’ve been covering, recently opened a facility to take old lithium batteries and make it possible to build new ones, and it is also setting up in the Phoenix metro area.

They go on to describe several non-EV and non-battery companies, too:

“Headquartered in Gilbert, Footprint is a global leader in sustainable, compostable packaging solutions; First Solar, headquartered in Tempe, is one of the world’s largest developers of solar panels and utility-scale photovoltaic systems; Meyer-Burger is building its first U.S. solar module manufacturing site in Goodyear; XNRGY has plans for a 1-million-square-foot manufacturing facility in the East Valley to develop sustainable air handling systems; and Air2O, a pioneer in advanced evaporative cooling technology, develops energy-efficient cooling systems for large-scale industrial and commercial operations.”

One of the things that allowed Arizona to get a foothold in clean energy was its naturally sunny environment. If you’ve ever been to Phoenix in the summer, you already know all about that. If you don’t, keep in mind that it’s so sunny and hot that sometimes planes can’t even take off. While it can be miserable, this is a great place to install solar panels and get a lot of power from them, and with Arizona’s electricity demand for air conditioning, it’s sorely needed.

On top of this, Arizona was big on alternative fuels in the 1990s, and until very recently didn’t charge people taxes on the purchase of cleaner vehicles (including EVs). For a while, I had one of the state’s “blue sky” alternative fuel plates on my Nissan LEAF, and registrations were dirt cheap for it.

By being in the right place for sun and encouraging clean technology, Arizona managed to become a cleantech powerhouse. Hopefully this trend will continue.

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Jennifer Sensiba

Jennifer Sensiba is a long time efficient vehicle enthusiast, writer, and photographer. She grew up around a transmission shop, and has been experimenting with vehicle efficiency since she was 16 and drove a Pontiac Fiero. She likes to get off the beaten path in her "Bolt EAV" and any other EVs she can get behind the wheel or handlebars of with her wife and kids. You can find her on Twitter here, Facebook here, and YouTube here.

Jennifer Sensiba has 1955 posts and counting. See all posts by Jennifer Sensiba