August 23, 2023 | Spotlight

Plug Into Georgia: E-Mobility Success for Local Governments

Plug Into Georgia: E-Mobility Success for Local Governments event graphic

Writer: Rhiannon Eades

The University of Georgia is working to support the significant growth Georgia is experiencing in e-mobility. The state is among the top three in the nation for electric vehicle manufacturing job growth and continues to rank high in EV registrations and charging infrastructure. The growth in e-mobility presents unique challenges and opportunities for Georgia communities.

The “Plug Into Georgia: E-Mobility Success for Local Governments” event on Aug. 31 will provide a forum to discuss successful partnerships, creating charging station infrastructure, workforce challenges and more. Hosted by the UGA Institute of Government, the event will be held in Richmond Hill and will bring together local leaders and industry experts for collaborative sessions to discuss Georgia’s e-mobility transition.

“We are hearing from communities across Georgia that they want to learn more about what the state is doing, what utilities are doing, what their peers are doing, and how to transition and bring charging to their constituents,” explained UGA Institute of Government Assistant Director Shana Jones.

Representatives from Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), Georgia Power, GreenPower EMC, Envirospark and the Georgia Automotive Dealers Association will offer an overview of public and private developments at the Aug. 31 event.

GDOT Program Manager Matthew Fowler will provide an update on Georgia’s National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure five-year plan, which will use $135 million in federal funds to expand the state’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure along designated alternative fuel corridors. GDOT issued a request for proposals in July for its first round of five charger locations, focusing on South Georgia.

“The goal is to see wider deployment of electric vehicles across the country,” Fowler explained. “One thing a lot of people have hesitancy about buying an electric vehicle is range anxiety, or the fear of running out of electricity. By having charging stations built in more rural areas, it'll hopefully lead to people taking electric vehicles on longer trips.”

Electric vehicle charging station

Stephanie Gossman, electric transportation manager for Georgia Power, will share the utility perspective on providing power for electric vehicles.

“This event led by the Institute of Government is a great example of the University of Georgia’s standing commitment to support Georgia’s growing electric mobility sector. Ensuring local governments have access to resources and education opportunities provides great value to communities,” Gossman said.  “We at Georgia Power are grateful for the institute’s leadership and the opportunity to support communities throughout the state.”

Officials from the Atlanta Regional Commission, Coastal Region Commission, city of Savannah, Bulloch County, Bryan County and Effingham County will share their perspectives on e-mobility issues at a lunch panel.

“The game is changing and changing fast. Everything is very dynamic,” Bulloch County Manager Tom Couch, one of the panelists, said. “I think we all have to learn about the change and we’ve got to embrace it whether we’re local government, community or business leaders. This meeting will be a great opportunity to do that.”

Following the panel, UGA Institute of Government faculty will lead a discussion focusing on next steps for local governments.

“Local leaders are hearing from their people who are driving electric. E-mobility changes planning and public safety, and it has economic development potential. There are jobs coming,” Jones said. “There’s also more federal funding available for e-mobility, and officials are thinking about how to access that so we can support and make sure that charging infrastructure is available.”

For more information and to register, visit the institute’s website.