As electric vehicles (EVs) become the global automotive trend for the future, state leaders from Ohio joined Ohio Sen. Michael Rulli (R-Salem) at the Ohio Chamber of Commerce earlier this week for a press event as he introduced the Accelerating Ohio’s Auto Industry bill.
“I’ve seen the devastating impact of auto manufacturing leaving, and I don’t want it to continue,” said Rulli. “Passage of this aggressive, multi-part legislative package is critical to provide resources and innovation to Voltage Valley and the rest of Ohio to grow our auto industry for future generations.”
The Accelerating Ohio’s Auto Industry bill will focus on the following key areas:
- Invest in workforce development — Funding for workforce training and factory retooling across the industry is key to ensuring that vehicles and parts continue to be made in Ohio, thereby protecting and growing Ohio jobs. Incentives to retool factories to produce EVs and EV parts signal to automakers that Ohio embraces EVs and encourages them to invest in the state. Additionally, workforce training ensures there is a qualified workforce that supports this expanding market and supports the growth of quality jobs related to charging and maintaining EVs.
- Encourage growth in the Ohio EV market through fleet and consumer vehicle incentives — Manufacturers want to produce their vehicles where they can sell them. Encouraging adoption of electric vehicles in Ohio sends a clear signal that Ohio is serious about remaining a strong partner to the auto industry as it shifts to EV production. For fleets, this incentive helps make electric vehicles more affordable and accessible while shortening the time needed to realize the financial return on investment of switching to fuel efficient, low maintenance vehicles. For consumers, incentives will encourage greater electric vehicle adoption to mass market levels and make EVs more affordable for the average consumer.
- Create a state EV task force and electrification plan — To position Ohio for the future of manufacturing, it is imperative to keep a finger on the pulse of the global automotive industry to leverage trends for the greatest benefit for Ohio’s economy. A task force operating at the state level with the right representation from the legislature, relevant state agencies, and other public and private stakeholders is best positioned to help Ohio become a leader in electric vehicle production and adoption.
- Unlock much-needed investment in EV charging infrastructure — Protecting and building on Ohio’s auto sector as the industry undergoes a global transition is an all-hands-on-deck challenge. In states leading the EV transition, electric utilities provide significant investment in charging infrastructure. For Ohio’s utilities to invest at a similar level, we must update guidance to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) and establish regulatory certainty.
Support for Ohio EV Bill
“The Ohio Chamber of Commerce stands in support of the Accelerating Ohio’s Auto Industry bill because it demonstrates to automakers that Ohio is serious about remaining a strong partner to the auto industry as it shifts to EV production,” said Ohio Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Steve Stivers. “We want Ohio to be considered for future planning, growth and development. As new businesses come and grow here, we know electric vehicle infrastructure will be a key component as they decide where to invest. We want Ohio to be part of those conversations. We look forward to working together to ensure Ohio businesses are moving forward.”
JobsOhio estimates that Ohio is home to over 108,000 jobs in the automotive industry. Automakers have pledged to invest $330 billion in electric vehicle production by 2025, and manufacturers are deciding now where to site those facilities, and therefore the location of future jobs.
“We support the Accelerating Ohio’s Auto Industry bill championed by Sen. Rulli,” said John Walsh, founder and CEO of EV maker Endera Motors. “Our aim is to help the state secure a leadership position in EV manufacturing and employ Ohioans at well-paying jobs with ample opportunity for training and advancement. With crucial government investment, we’re building zero-emissions vehicles which clean the air and reduce our dependence on foreign fossil fuels, all while creating economic opportunities for the people of Ohio.”
“At Clean Fuels Ohio, we’ve seen the shift in technology and know that Ohio is at an important crossroads. The decisions Ohio makes now will determine if Ohio remains an auto manufacturing state or if we take detrimental steps backward,” Brendan Kelley, director of Clean Fuels Ohio‘s EV initiative Drive Electric Ohio, noted.
Clean Fuels Ohio is a Columbus-based 501(c)3 nonprofit and Clean Cities Coalition that works to support energy and economic security through partnerships that advance affordable, efficient and environmentally beneficial domestic transportation fuels, technologies and mobility systems.