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Energy Institute of Alabama highlights state’s electric vehicle sector

Alabama has seen a more than 40 percent growth year over year in the number of registered electric vehicles, or EV’s.

A new video from the Energy Institute of Alabama highlights the growing use of electric vehicles in Alabama, and the growing sector of electric vehicle production and technology advancements.

Alabama is the third largest exporter of vehicles in the country, and in 2018 produced more than 1.6 million engines and had more than 40,000 jobs in the auto sector, according to the video. On average, over the last eight years, Alabama has seen a more than 40 percent growth year over year in the number of registered electric vehicles, or EV’s.

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

Ivey said doing so will increase investment from manufactures, produce more jobs and further the overall automotive economic impact “and cement Alabama’s reputation is a forward-leaning automotive leader.”

The Montgomery-based Energy Institute of Alabama is a nonprofit made up of representative from six major energy companies, including Alabama Municipal Electric Authority, Alabama Rural Electric Association, Alabama Power Company, Electric Cities of Alabama, PowerSouth Energy and Tennessee Valley Authority.

The nonprofit’s mission is to “promote reliable, affordable, and clean energy to help grow our economy, create high-paying jobs, and build public support for Alabama’s energy industry,” according to its website.

As of this summer, there were approximately 400 publicly available charging outlets at 148 locations statewide, according to the video. There is an estimated 1.6 million electric vehicles on roads nationwide, a number that could reach 3 million by 2025, the video notes, and charging an EV on average is about half the cost of filling up gasoline vehicles. EV’s produce less emissions, and the power they use is created by “diverse and domestic fuel sources.”

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Seth Hammett, chairman of the Energy Institute of Alabama, said that the expansion and adoption of electric vehicles in Alabama “perfectly aligns with the mission and vision f the Energy Institute of Alabama.”

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

The video notes that Mercedes-Benz invested $1 billion in battery technology advancements in Alabama, which is indicative of a future shift toward EV’s. Additionally, GM, Ford and other automakers are planning to increase EV production in the future.

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin said on the video that as the state’s largest city, uniquely positioned along major interstates “we fully believe in the future of EV’s and will continue to support the expansion of electric vehicle infrastructure by increasing EV awareness here in our city, and across the state.”

Rep. Bill Poole, R-Tuscaloosa, discussed the state Legislature’s decision to invest in electric vehicle technologies in the state.

“Those investments, by virtue of the general fund and the education budget in our state will supplement private investments in these sectors, and supports our automotive manufactures, as we have tens of thousands of jobs here in Alabama,” Poole said. “We’re recruiting more manufacturing in the automotive sector, the supply chains that support the same. We have battery plants that are being constructed in Alabama.”

“So to invest and support those jobs in that critical sector of our economy, I think it’s fantastic that the Legislature chose to support those areas,” Poole said.

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Eddie Burkhalter is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can email him at [email protected] or reach him via Twitter.

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