Electric vehicles play vital role in Alabama’s future

Electric vehicles play vital role in Alabama’s future
An electric vehicle charging station opens in Mobile last year. (Mike Kittrell)

Alabama has established itself as the No. 3 auto exporter in the country and continues to make significant investments in the automotive industry. In 2018, Alabama produced more than 1.6 million engines and had more than 40,000 jobs within the sector.

The road to the future involves increasing the state’s electric mobility and expanding electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure. Estimates place more than 1.6 million EVs nationwide on the road, with potential for 3 million by 2025.

“I’m pleased the Legislature has elected to provide additional resources in our state for EV technologies and for electric vehicle investments,” said state Rep. Bill Poole. “Those investments, by virtue of the general fund and the education budget in our state, will supplement private investments in these sectors and support our automotive manufacturers.”

Charging EVs on average costs roughly half as much as filling up gasoline-powered vehicles. EVs have fewer emissions than gasoline-powered vehicles.

“We fully believe in the future of EVs and will continue to support the expansion of electric vehicle infrastructure by increasing EV awareness here in our city and across the state,” said Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin.

Mercedes’ massive $1 billion investment in high-voltage EV battery technology in Alabama indicates a shift toward EVs. General Motors, Ford and other automotive manufacturers plan increased EV production, furthering the growth of a variety of electric vehicles.

Alabama charges ahead with electric vehicle program from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

As interest in EVs continues to rise nationally, costs continue to decrease and range and battery-charging technology continue to improve, EV adoption is expected to go up.

“We’re seeing the growing automotive sector turn more and more to electric vehicle production and we’re seeing more and more consumer interest in electric vehicles,” said Energy Institute of Alabama Chairman Seth Hammett. “So, we’re proud to support the effort to change Alabama’s future for the better so that clean energy can fuel Alabama’s future.”

The historic “Rebuild Alabama” legislation is a significant step to invest in electric vehicle expansion in the state.

“Alabama is well-known as a top-tier automotive manufacturing state,” said Gov. Kay Ivey. “As we continue toward a 21st century transportation system and economy, we must work to expand Alabama’s economy and infrastructure to support a growing electric vehicle industry.”

On average over the past eight years, Alabama has experienced more than 40% year-over-year growth in the number of registered EVs. As of summer 2020, there are about 400 publicly available charging outlets at 148 locations across the state. The growth of EV sales and production will require additional investments from the Legislature, the industry and consumers.

To learn more about Energy Institute of Alabama, visit EnergyInstituteAL.org.

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