If you caught even a casual glance at the car commercials during the Super Bowl last weekend, you may have noticed quite a push to get buyers excited about electric vehicles. Though our own Lordstown Motors Corp. didn’t make the big show, we here in the Buckeye State know there is a change afoot. Nearly 15,000 electric vehicles are registered here now.
Just days after the EV Super Bowl commercials aired, this newspaper reported about more EV growth. California-based Fisker Inc. now is taking reservations for the second electric auto, the PEAR, to be made right here in Lordstown.
That announcement confirmed speculation that Fisker would make the vehicle in partnership with Taiwanese tech giant Foxconn at the factory it bought from Lordstown Motors Corp. — the very factory previously owned by General Motors, and largely responsible for putting Lordstown on the map.
Of course, this move into the new direction of the growing electric vehicle market is all very exciting for the Mahoning Valley that some are predicting will become the nation’s hub for electric-vehicle production.
The PEAR, for Personal Electric Automotive Revolution, is a compact EV, starting out at $29,900.
It will be built in the same plant as the Endurance, Lordstown Motors’ flagship electric pickup truck. Endurance deliveries will begin later this year.
But wait, there’s more!
Last week also brought word from a local state legislator that could help alleviate motorists’ concerns about switching to electric from gasoline-powered vehicles because of “range anxiety.” Undoubtedly, the infrastructure for refueling electric vehicles has not matched the proliferation of gas stations.
State Sen. Michael Rulli, R-Salem, on Wednesday introduced a proposal to provide $15 million to help automakers transition into EV manufacturing and $10 million in educational grants to create a workforce prepared for the industry.
Rulli’s proposal, the Accelerating Ohio’s Auto Industry bill, also will create a state task force to provide guidance to the EV market and would spur investment in charging stations by updating regulations.
“The ugly truth in America is we have no infrastructure for the EV revolution,” he said. “That needs to change in Ohio.”
We couldn’t agree more.
And with GM and LG Energy Solution building a $2.3 billion EV battery-cell factory and Lordstown Motors at the former GM plant, both in Lordstown, Rulli said electric vehicle and parts manufacturing can help revitalize the Mahoning Valley.
Automakers plan to invest $330 billion by 2025 to transition to electric vehicles, and Rulli said he wants as much of that as possible to come to Ohio.
Steve Stivers, the chamber’s president and CEO, said Ohio won’t get all $330 billion, but “we want to make Ohio competitive for it.”
Ohio already is home to more than 108,000 jobs in the auto industry, and these events only set us up to grow more.
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