The global projection of annual passenger electric vehicle (EV) sales in 2040 is 56 million EVs. To meet this rapid expansion, the next 20 years will lead to more innovation and change than the automotive industry experienced in the previous 100 years.
Market. More than 6,000 EVs were sold in Georgia in 2018, an increase of 147% compared to the prior year. To support the drivers of the now nearly 30,000 EVs on the road in Georgia, the state has more than 930 publicly available EV charging stations.
In addition to the growing consumer base, the region’s original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are shifting their product lines to increase the production of EV models. The State of Georgia is located in the center of the thriving Southeast Automotive Corridor and in close proximity to the region’s OEMs. Our highway system, state-of-the-art ports, extensive rail system, and world-renowned international airport keep Georgia-made products flowing to customers, with delivery often occurring within hours.
In northeast Georgia, SK Innovation is constructing a $1.67 billion manufacturing facility to produce lithium-ion batteries and announced an additional $940 million expansion this year to accommodate demand. Their customer, Volkswagen, located just three hours away, is also expanding their production plant where they plan to assemble 100,000 all-electric SUVs annually starting in 2022.
In 2020, with a partnership from the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD), additional EV supply chain-related investments have been made by international companies in the State of Georgia. For example, more Korean companies have announced battery production-related facilities in Georgia in recent months. Since 2017, at least seven companies aside from SK Innovation have made investments in EV-related production in Georgia. In November 2020, Georgia announced that TEKLAS, a Turkish advanced research, and development, manufacturer and supplier of EV parts will invest in opening their first North American facility and headquarters in Georgia. This follows a July announcement that GEDIA Automotive Group, a family-owned international company that specializes in making state-of-the-art automotive parts, will build an advanced manufacturing facility that will begin production with a focus on lightweight structural automotive parts for electric vehicles in Georgia.
Research and development, a key factor in the emerging EV industry, also has strong roots established in the state. In addition to the insights and opportunities created by GDEcD’s Centers of Innovation, which serve the entire state, companies and universities in Georgia’s ecosystem are utilizing their own innovation centers to research a myriad of projects including improving driving range, increasing recharging speeds, connectivity system enhancements, improving AI for better autonomous vehicles (AV), and adding nanotech materials into production, to name just a few.
Georgia Tech, home to the nation’s No. 1 industrial engineering program, is also a driver behind initiatives to advance next-generation mobility and smart city technology.
The University of Georgia (UGA) is adopting the usage of zero-emission buses into its transportation fleet. In 2021, UGA will have the largest fleet of electric buses of any university in the nation. The 33 Proterra Catalyst E2 buses will account for a third of the fleet, and the university will begin phasing out diesel models. The campus transit facility currently has 12 charging stations, which can handle up to 48 buses.
Georgia is also home to The Ray, a public-private-philanthropic partnership where private industries and universities test technologies in the area of energy, transportation, health, and the environment. GDEcD facilitated the development of this platform for research and testing. Initial product testing included a solar energy-powered EV fast charger sponsored by Kia Motor Manufacturing Georgia, a solar road installed by Wattway by Colas, and wireless tire pressure and tire tread measuring technology by Wheelright. Panasonic and 3M are also utilizing this 18-mile stretch of highway to test new products and technologies
This is just one more example of the types of innovative infrastructure Georgia is creating across the state in next-generation technology.
With the support of cutting-edge innovations emerging out of our universities, a highly skilled workforce, and our relationship approach to economic development, Georgia is committed to strengthening its position as a leader in the EV market. The Department of Economic Development has a team of people dedicated to the expansion and location of manufacturers of automotive-related products. Visit our Automotive Industry page or contact us for more information on becoming Georgia’s next success story.
News provided by Metro Atlanta CEO – February 18, 2021