Gov. Kay Ivey today announced a state-endorsed push towards electric vehicles, including increasing the number of public EV charging stations throughout Alabama.
“We are showing the nation once again Alabama is a driving force in the automotive industry,” Ivey said.
The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs today officially launched the state’s electric vehicle education and marketing program, called “Drive Electric Alabama.”
State leaders are encouraging residents to check out the web site, driveelectricalabama.com to learn more about electric cars.
State Rep. Anthony Daniels, the House minority leader, said he plans to buy an electric car soon.
“Electric vehicles are not the future, they are here,” Daniels said, joining Ivey in a UAB parking lot in front of EV charging stations for the announcement.
Daniels touted the “Frunk” – or front trunk – that can be used for storage in electric vehicles.
“The space is there,” he said. “This is going to be my vehicle for taking the family to the beach.”
Ivey, asked whether she would be driving an electric car soon, said she plans to keep her gas-powered vehicle for the time being.
“My Mercedes is still in good shape,” she said.
When it was pointed out Mercedes plans to start making electric vehicles at its Alabama plant next year, she said she’s a potential customer.
“When my car runs out, I’ll sure look at it and take a drive,” Ivey said.
The Hyundai plant in Montgomery also plans to begin making electric vehicles.
“As automakers make significant investments in electric vehicles, we know more and more motorists will consider purchasing one,” Ivey said in her prepared statement. “In addition, automobile manufacturing is one of Alabama’s key industries, and we want to make sure that this economic engine remains vibrant for Alabama’s workers.”
The “Drive Electric Alabama” campaign will include television, radio and digital advertising, as well as billboards and events aimed at increasing Alabamians’ awareness surrounding EV technology, affordability and charging.
“It’s clear electric vehicles represent the next generation of automobile manufacturing,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said. “That’s precisely why this is the perfect time for Alabamians to learn about electric vehicles, as many auto manufacturers, including Mercedes-Benz right here in our state, are beginning to add electric vehicles to their fleets.”
ADECA is developing a statewide infrastructure plan related to electric vehicles, including a plan for public charging stations, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
“Automobile manufacturers have announced billions of dollars in investments in EVs in the last year, but most Alabama motorists have questions about how far EVs can travel on a single charge, how often and where EVs are charged, and how much money is saved by switching from gasoline to electric,” said Michael Staley, president of the Alabama Clean Fuels Coalition.
The purpose of the Drive Electric Alabama campaign is to answer those questions, he said.