WATCH: Video highlights how continued investment in EV sector could pay off for Alabama
Alabama has blossomed into America’s third largest automotive exporter, and the electric vehicle revolution could make the Yellowhammer State No. 1 in the near future.
A video released by the Energy Institute of Alabama outlines the many benefits and opportunities for the state associated with electric vehicles.
Coming on the heels of National Drive Electric Week and during Manufacturing Week, the video highlights the automotive giants that have chosen Alabama to produce vehicles: Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, Honda and Mazda Toyota Manufacturing.
Alabama has experienced a lot of movement in the EV sector in recent years, and exponential growth could be on the horizon.
The Rebuild Alabama Act of 2019 helped prepare the state to be on the cutting edge of EV infrastructure development, and Governor Kay Ivey this summer announced the Alabama Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Plan. This plan was developed by the Alabama Clean Fuels Coalition and Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs to set short and long-term strategies to guide the expansion of EV charging stations across the state.
Currently, there are approximately 400 charging outlets at around 148 different public charging stations in Alabama.
The American electric vehicle market is quickly expanding, with sales leaping 86% in 2018. One estimate projects that there could be three million EVs on roads nationwide within the next five years. In addition to fuel cost savings for drivers, EVs bring environmental and health benefits, as well as offering increased acceleration compared to gas-powered cars.
As far as the manufacturing side of the EV equation, Mercedes-Benz is leading the charge in Alabama with a $1 billion, 600-job expansion that includes all-electric vehicle production and a state-of-the-art battery factory in Bibb County.
Momentum is building in the supplier sector, too.
For example, DURA Automotive Systems in August announced an investment of $59 million to open a manufacturing facility in Muscle Shoals that will produce battery trays for electric vehicles.
How can Alabama continue to take advantage of the individual and economic benefits of the EV sector’s emergence?
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn