If you’re seeing more electric vehicles in the southern US, it’s not just you. According to the Transportation Electrification in Southeast annual report, the region’s electric vehicle market share has doubled from last year. Tesla and Hyundai leading way. And, more importantly, the growth of the industry brings new jobs to the region.
The Southeast (Florida, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee) has become a significant center for automobile production. Several well-known automakers, including Mercedes-Benz, Fordand BMWcall the southeast home for some of their operations.
Automakers are moving from the car city to the sun belt because of regional preferences. It is closer to the coast, which facilitates exports; it offers a large space; and it tends to be less expensive.
Electric vehicle startups and legacy automakers are investing heavily in the region. In fact, the Southeast region has garnered nearly $33 billion in planned investment and is expected to eventually host a third of the nation’s electric vehicle manufacturing jobs.
To illustrate, here are the top five electric vehicle manufacturing investments coming to the region, ranked by number of jobs created:
- Hyundai signed an agreement in May 2022 to invest $6.54 billion in a new electric vehicle and battery manufacturing plant in Georgia, which will create approximately 8,100 jobs.
- Rivian announced in December 2021 that it will build a A $5 billion electric car factory outside of Atlanta, Georgia, creating approximately 7,500 new positions.
- VinFast unveiled plans for a $2 billion electric vehicle manufacturing plant in North Carolina that would create 7,000 jobs.
- Ford and SK Innovation have created around 6,000 new jobs thanks to the $5.6 billion Blue Oval City megacampus, which will produce next-generation F-series electric trucks and batteries.
- SK Innovation will spend $2.61 billion in 2020 to build its second U.S. factory, creating 2,600 additional jobs.
These investments bring significant cash to the region as electric vehicle sales continue to grow in the Southeast.
Tesla maintains a leading position in the Southeast market for electric vehicles
In the second quarter, the Southeast region’s EV market share doubled from 2.5% in July 2021 to 5% in July 2022. the report. Florida led the region with a 6% EV market share, while Georgia and North Carolina trailed behind with 5%. Alabama was last at 2.1% (though he believes it will be an EV hub).
Tesla maintained its lead with 57% of total electric car sales in the Southeast. In second place is Hyundai, seeing a surge in sales of the Ioniq 5 and Kia’s EV6. Volkswagen, BMW, General Motors and Ford also saw growth in the area.
The rise in electric vehicle sales is fueled by increased affordability (Georgia leads the trend with 57 affordable electric vehicle models), new incentives and improved access to charging.
Although the Southeast region lags behind the rest of the country (7% EV market share), reaching the 5% threshold is a major milestone. According to A Bloomberg Research which estimates electric vehicle sales in countries, reaching 5% electric vehicle market share may signal the beginning of mass adoption.
Will Mass Adoption of Electric Vehicles Happen in the Southeast? So far, policy-wise, many southeastern states have lagged behind, with some of the highest EV registration fees and the lowest per capita funding for EVs.
However, with so much investment and opportunity emerging in the region, electric vehicles offer significant potential for the South East. I expect EV adoption to continue to accelerate as more models become available and new incentives emerge.
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