What does record investment in EVs mean for job growth?


What does record investment in EVs mean for job growth?

As electric vehicles gain popularity and automakers invest billions of dollars, they are bringing new jobs and economic growth to communities across the United States. With more people transitioning to EVs, more jobs are being created to build out infrastructure such as factories and EV charging networks. Given that there will be an estimated 22 million EVs on the road by 2030, an estimated 650,000+ jobs will be created directly and indirectly from investment in electric vehicles and related areas.

Legacy automakers such as Ford, GM, and Toyota are beginning to revamp and build factories in states across the nation. Startup automakers such as Rivian, Lucid Motors, VinFast, and Karma Automotive are either currently building, or have plans to build vehicles in Illinois, Georgia, North Carolina, and Arizona. This bodes well for job growth and creation as The Economic Policy Institute estimates that over 150,000 new jobs could be created within the automotive industry, including battery manufacturing. With the proposed investment by automotive manufacturers, there’s a good chance of hitting that mark.

The automotive industry reaches so many people in indirect ways, that the number of jobs created outside of the automotive industry as a result of EV development may be much higher. For example, a Ford factory for the F-150 Lightning has the potential to employ 3,300 people but create 44,000 additional local jobs. And while development is happening globally, a majority of investment is here in the United States by automakers such as Ford, GM, Volkswagen, in addition to battery manufacturers such as LG Chem and Samsung SDI.

The federal government is allocating money to states and their respective local governments to help fund construction of new charging infrastructure to support EVs, with the goal of having DC fast chargers along every major interstate across the country. Some models, such as this by Argonne National Laboratory, estimate that 274,000-291,000 jobs will be created from electric vehicle charging station infrastructure by 2030.

Electric utilities, both private and public, are planning to invest hundreds of millions of dollars into preparing the national electricity grid for EVs. For example, Xcel Energy is investing $110 million on EV infrastructure in Colorado to support the state’s goal of having 940,000 EVs on the road by 2030. The investment by utility companies will create jobs for urban and regional planners, electricians, construction workers, and numerous other occupations to help support the transition to EVs.

This transition has the potential to add jobs, stimulate local economies, and drive innovation in a segment previously at risk of stagnation, making EVs a win-win-win for consumers, the economy, and our planet.

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