Electric Vehicle Summit Draws Hundreds to Birmingham, Alabama

National Electric Driving Week kicks off Sept. 23, but Alabama’s electric vehicle (EV) experts, thought leaders, and policymakers are getting a head start Sept. 21-22 at Drive Electric Alabama EV Summita gathering in Birmingham that attracts hundreds of people from the automotive industry, utilities and a range of businesses preparing for the predicted increase in electric vehicle drivers in the years to come.

Alabama Power is one of the participants in the summit, presented by the Alabama Automobile Manufacturers Association. The event at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex will include briefings on the expansion of electric vehicle infrastructure in the state, primers on electric vehicle technology and updates on electric vehicle manufacturing in Alabama and how the growing number of electric vehicles on the road will interact with Alabama’s power grid. To date, over 300 people have registered to attend the summit.

Cedric Daniels, head of electric transportation at Alabama Power, said one of the summit’s goals was for attendees to leave the conference with “actionable insights” about investing wisely for the wave of electric vehicles to come, including how to apply for government grants to install electric vehicle charging. their business infrastructure. He said company experts would share information about grid readiness, charging equipment and Alabama Power’s special offer. EV ratewhich offers individuals and businesses that own plug-in electric vehicles a discount on electricity at certain times of the day.

A recent Drive Electric Alabama event in Mobile. (contributed)

β€œSales of electric vehicles in Alabama continue to grow, and for many years we have worked with the public and private sectors to support the industry and share our knowledge with electric vehicle owners and our customers,” Daniels said. . “The summit is another opportunity for us to exchange useful information.”

Alabama policymakers and agency experts will participate in the summit, providing the latest information on state and federal incentives and initiatives that position Alabama to better serve electric vehicle users and support the market in full growth.

According Drive Electric Alabamaa statewide coalition supporting the adoption of electric vehicles, more than 60 electric vehicle models are available in the United States, a number expected to more than double by 2024. As of December 2021, more than 2.2 million plug-in vehicles had been sold across the United States

Just last week, Coach delivered its first Alabama-built electric vehicle to Former Dominion Freight Line for use at Old Dominion facilities in Rialto, CA. Autocar has developed its electric terminal tractor technology with multiple partners, including Alabama Power, through tests at Mobile port.

Last month, Mercedes-Benz started production of the EQS all-electric luxury SUV to her Tuscaloosa County Factory. Production of another all-electric model, the EQE SUV, is expected to begin later this year. In March, the company opened its state-of-the-art, billion-dollar EV battery factory and logistics center in adjacent Bibb County.

In April, Hyundai announced plans to start building a hybrid version of the Santa Fe sport utility, as well as the first electrified Genesis GV70 SUV, at its Montgomery plant. Hyundai officials said they plan to invest $300 million and create 200 more jobs in Alabama at its only US manufacturing center.

More automakers in Alabama are plugging into electric vehicles. (contributed)

Also in April, Western Waters Resources and its subsidiary, Alabama Graphite Products LLC, began construction on a $202 million graphite processing plant in Coosa County. Graphite is an essential material in EV batteries.

Honda Motor Co. and South Korean battery manufacturer LG Energy Solutions Ltd. said they would spend $4.4 billion to build a new battery plant in the United States as the Japanese automaker seeks to phase out fossil-fuel vehicles by 2040. The location of the plant has not been determined. Honda Manufacturing of Alabama, the company’s largest light-truck plant in the world, produces the Passport and Pilot SUVs, the Odyssey minivan and the Ridgeline pickup truck. The Lincoln plant also produces the traditional V-6 gasoline engines that power Honda cars.

Mazda and Toyota, which have a major presence in Alabama, are bolstering their plans for electric vehicles and batteries, though it’s unclear how the state will figure into their strategy. Manufacturing Mazda Toyota (MTM) earlier this year began mass production of the all-new Mazda CX-50 sport utility vehicle at its joint venture assembly plant in Huntsville. The CX-50 joined the Toyota Corolla Cross, also an all-new model, on the production line at the $2.3 billion MTM plant.

In addition to this week’s EV Summit, other events are planned across Alabama as part of National Drive Electric Week, including free EV Expos in Auburn, Huntsville and Birmingham. The Auburn event will be held September 19 at the Jay and Susie Gogue Performing Arts Center, 910 South College St. The event in Huntsville will be held September 25 at the Stovehouse parking lot, 3414 Governors Drive. The Birmingham event takes place on October 1 at the Market at Pepper Place, 2930 Third Ave. S. Learn more about the exhibitions here. Learn more about the Drive Electric Alabama Summit here.

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