Investments in electric transport crucial for the economy
Pride in the auto industry runs through many Michiganders, myself included. Henry Ford is an ancestor of mine which brings my fondness for the auto industry much closer to my heart. With the same tenderness and a little enthusiasm, I speak of the radical and lasting changes that we are seeing in the industry today.
The future of the auto industry is here in Michigan: The Chevy Bolt is being assembled in Lake Orion, the F-150 Lightning will be built in Dearborn, and many other facilities across the state contain research labs, engineering teams and assembly lines dedicated to creating great electric cars.
But that doesn’t mean we can stand idly by. If Michigan is to remain the automotive industry capital of the world, we must make substantial investments in the next generation of clean transportation.
Public investment in transport electrification generates five times more benefits for the economy
A recent study by Advanced Energy Economy shows that every dollar of public investment in electric transport generates an additional $ 2.60 in private investment and nearly $ 5 in national GDP. Investments in electric transportation present an opportunity for Michigan workers and absolutely must be included in both the state budget and federal infrastructure spending.
The Mobility Futures Initiative presents a $ 25 million plan to strengthen Michigan’s leadership in advanced transportation programs. If part of the state budget, the initiative would develop many programs, including a “Flip Your Fleet” program to help Michigan fleets switch to clean fuels, creating a partnership in the Midwest to develop an electric vehicle charging infrastructure and develop a strategy to attract advanced mobility companies to Michigan.
At the federal level, Congress is working on infrastructure proposals that would invest in clean transportation and significantly benefit Michigan’s economy. For example, the American Jobs Plan and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework allocate billions of dollars to replace polluting buses with electric buses, to build infrastructure for charging electric vehicles, etc. According to the Advanced Energy Economy study mentioned above, the U.S. Jobs Plan would add $ 1.3 trillion to national GDP, create 10.7 million jobs, and increase tax revenues by $ 231 billion.
Industry is rapidly moving towards zero emissions
During a Super Bowl commercial earlier this year, General Motors announced that they expected 100% of their vehicle sales to be electric by 2035. Other automakers, like Ford, Honda, Jaguar and Mercedes Benz have also set ambitious targets for electric vehicles. These goals are driven by consumers who quickly realize that electric driving is better. With instant torque, convenient ârefuelingâ and no need for an oil change, electric cars truly offer a superior driving experience.
Automakers are looking to a fully electric future, and it’s time we did too. Transportation electrification is here, and it should benefit everyone in Michigan. The Future of Mobility Initiative and federal infrastructure proposals represent an opportunity to leverage public funds for the public good: create jobs, rebuild our country, and accelerate the transition to electric transportation. It’s time to invest in our future, Michigan.
– Jane McCurry is Executive Director of Clean Fuels Michigan, a state-wide non-profit organization made up of businesses and industry stakeholders dedicated to advancing the clean transportation industry in Michigan.