Excerpt from al.com
Automakers are embracing plans for the electric vehicle. What will that mean for Alabama’s auto industry?
Two of the state’s corporate automotive citizens – Mercedes-Benz and Hyundai – have announced ambitious plans in recent months to begin production on electric vehicles.
In March, Mercedes-Benz opened its electric battery company in Bibb County, ahead of production later this year on the EQS SUV and EQE SUV. That’s after Mercedes spent more than $1 billion in the two counties over the last five years getting ready for the move.
The company also announced an ambitious plan to produce only electric vehicles by 2030 – as market forces allow.
Then last week, Hyundai announced it will begin building the Electrified Genesis GV70 and the hybrid version of the Santa Fe in Alabama, the company’s first electric vehicles produced in the U.S. Hyundai will invest $300 million in the move and create 200 jobs in Montgomery.
It’s important to remember with these announcements how radically different the manufacturing process is for electric vehicles, as Mercedes demonstrated for media members last month. The EVs produced on the same line there don’t have the same parts as standard internal combustion engines – such as exhaust, carburetors and transmission. That means a rethinking of the assembly line, design, supply chain, and countless other factors.
But what about Alabama’s other automakers?