Pepper Place visitors explore world of electric vehicles at Alabama event

Pepper Place visitors explore world of electric vehicles at Alabama event
Electric vehicle ownership and infrastructure are growing in Alabama. (Michael Sznajderman / Alabama NewsCenter)

Brilliant fall weather greeted a diverse crowd of people who took time Saturday to kick the tires and learn more about a wide range of electric vehicles (EVs) at the Market at Pepper Place in Birmingham.

The event, capping off National Drive Electric Week, was hosted by the Alabama Clean Fuels Coalition and co-sponsored by UAB Sustainability, Alabama Power, the city of Birmingham and the Zero Emissions Owners Group (ZEOG).

The event showcased the growing array of plug-in, emission-free electric vehicles now available on the market, from zippy and affordable models to more pricey luxury cars and SUVs. Experts and EV owners were on hand to describe the capabilities and benefits of driving electric vehicles in Alabama.

Michael Staley of the Alabama Clean Fuels Coalition talks EV growth in Alabama from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

In July, Gov. Kay Ivey announced the Alabama Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Plan, which the Alabama Clean Fuels Coalition and the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs developed to set short- and long-term strategies to guide expansion of electric vehicle charging stations throughout the state. To date, there are about 400 EV charging outlets at 149 public charging stations across the state.

The city of Birmingham recently added electric vehicles to its fleet, and Mercedes-Benz is in the midst of a $1 billion, 600-job expansion that includes all-electric vehicle production at its facility in Vance and a state-of-the-art battery factory in Bibb County. In August, DURA Automotive Systems announced it was investing $59 million to open a manufacturing facility in Muscle Shoals that will produce battery trays for electric vehicles.

Alabama Power offers customers with plug-in electric vehicles a discounted rate to charge their vehicles overnight at home. The overnight discount applies to all the energy the household uses between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. The company also works with business and industry to educate and promote the use of EVs for a variety of purposes. Learn more by going to www.alabamapower.com and searching for “Electric Transportation.”

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