A Birmingham Electric Vehicle Technology Summit was held in Birmingham. Governor of Alabama Kay Ivey chaired the EV Summit and other elected officials attended the event. Representatives from the major automobile manufacturers and suppliers as well as from Alabama were also present.
“Over the past thirty years, Alabama has gone from being an automotive obscurity to an industrial giant,” said Governor Ivey. “Today we are one of America’s five largest manufacturers and exporters of automobiles and light trucks. Like our college football, we’re proud of the standard of excellence we set with our automotive industry, but it’s no secret that this industry is changing every day. A whole new market has emerged for many automakers in recent years and it is clear that electric vehicles are on the rise and will continue to gain popularity among drivers.”
The opening Drive Electric Alabama EV Summit held at the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex (BJCC) and included discussions on electric vehicle initiatives in Alabama and provided information on charging infrastructure and other EV-related topics.
“We’re here to advance our automotive industry, and if electric vehicles are the direction the industry is headed, then we want to do everything we can to ensure that the jobs and economic investment of this burgeoning industry come to Alabama instead to ours.” Neighboring states,” said the director of the Alabama Department of Commerce (ADECA). Kenneth Bowell.
ADECA is the lead agency of the Drive Electric Alabama Initiative. This is a nationwide coalition promoting the adoption of electric vehicles.
Ron Davis is President of the Alabama Automotive Manufacturers Association.
“Virtually every major automaker around the world has announced plans to electrify its fleet,” Davis said. “Automakers clearly see electric vehicles as the future of the industry – that’s why they’re investing billions of dollars in research and development. As the fourth-largest auto exporting state, Alabama’s auto manufacturing sector has a major impact on Alabama’s economy, employing tens of thousands of Alabamaans in high-paying jobs. It’s important that Alabama remains competitive so that the next generation of cars will be built here and not in neighboring states.”
“Our foundation is strong, but we must continue to lay the foundations for tomorrow, and that starts right here and now,” Gov. Ivey said.
Summit activities included panel discussions, booths and seminars focused on state and federal grants available in Alabama for installing EV charging infrastructure.
Since the Ford Model T, the Chevrolet C-Series, and the Overland Model 38, generations of Alabamanians have driven cars with internal combustion engines. Industry experts expect that to change.
“EVs also make financial sense for consumers, especially now that petrol prices at the pump are skyrocketing. Owning an EV also means significant savings in maintenance costs, with the average EV driver saving between $6,000 and $10,000 over the life of the vehicle,” Davis said. “As EV technology advances, the performance margin between electric cars and gas-powered vehicles is widening, as are other metrics such as EV choice, range and charging station availability.”
EV initiatives in the state of Alabama, charging technology, and the impact of EV charging on the electrical grid were topics raised during the discussions.
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