Georgia Leading E-Mobility Evolution
Tuesday, September 28th, 2021
The electric vehicle revolution is here, and no state is better prepared to spearhead this change than Georgia. Prior to major automotive companies publicly setting ambitious electrification goals, and even prior to federal Executive Orders, leaders in the State of Georgia had started the electric mobility race.
As reported in Automotive Industries, when Georgia Governor Brian P. Kemp and GDEcD Commissioner Pat Wilson realized just how quickly the shift to e-mobility would be coming, they knew they needed to act with urgency or risk being left behind. The economic development team started talking to companies to better understand how to position the assets Georgia has to offer. And with roughly 55,000 Georgia jobs tied to the internal combustion engine on the line, a statewide initiative to strengthen Georgia’s position as a national leader in the electric mobility industry was launched.
In July 2021, Governor Kemp officially announced the Electric Mobility and Innovation Alliance (EMIA). This strategic alliance includes partners from the private and public sectors ranging from government, industry, electric utilities, education, nonprofits, and other stakeholders with a focus on advancing Georgia’s role in developing the electric mobility industry and its supply chain.
EMIA is made up of five committees that have been charged with creating a multi-step approach that sets state objectives for developing Supply Chain, Infrastructure, Workforce, Innovation, and Policy/Initiatives. Website assets about the Alliance are available at: georgia.org/mobility
The original 2018 announcement of SK Innovation’s plans to build a massive lithium-ion battery plant in Commerce, Georgia, had a major ripple effect in the state. Since then, global e-mobility suppliers and leaders including Enchem Ltd., TEKLAS, GEDIA, Dongwon Tech, and Heliox have announced significant, job-stimulating investments here.
Additionally, following the initial 2018 announcement, SK Innovation has shared plans to invest another $900 million in expanding their manufacturing operations in Georgia, taking their total investment in the state to well over $2 billion.
A hotbed for startups, the state is also home to countless solutions-oriented companies moving into the electric vehicle space. For example, as reported in the Atlanta Business Chronicle, companies like Gainesville-based Energy Assurance are continuing to grow as demand increases within the electric vehicle and renewable energy industries. Energy Assurance works with its cell and battery manufacturing customers to test their products for both performance and compliance.
Further, Georgia’s entire renewable energy sector continues to grow. In August, Plug Power broke ground on its green manufacturing plant in Camden County. A leading global provider of hydrogen solutions, Plug Power is investing $84 million in opening a green hydrogen fuel production plant in Georgia. Plug Power has deployed more than 40,000 fuel cell systems for e-mobility, delivering efficiency gains, fast fueling, and lower operational costs to its customers, and delivers 40 tons per day of hydrogen fuel to those customers.
Georgia’s access to a skilled and educated workforce has also been a key differentiator for attracting e-mobility companies. Over the past year, Georgia’s University System awarded a record number of degrees. Approximately 73,000 degrees were awarded between June 30, 2020, and June 30, 2021. Additionally, to further ensure a qualified workforce, Georgia Quick Start, the number one workforce training program in the nation, partners with the Technical College System of Georgia to design curricula to meet the workforce training needs of local companies.
Home to Kia Georgia, Hyundai Transys Georgia Powertrain, and Toyota Industries Compressor Parts America, Georgia has long recognized the significant impact that the automotive industry makes on its economy and on the livelihoods of Georgians. Thanks to the foresight of leaders from around the state, Georgia is well-positioned to build on its existing automotive and mobility assets to continue leading the United States’ electric vehicle revolution.