Georgia Universities: Providing Connections and Advancing Electric Mobility R&D
Tuesday, May 23rd, 2023
Georgia is at the epicenter of the nation’s electric vehicle revolution, and its system of higher education is working to drive the industry forward. By prioritizing research and development and gathering the top researchers and players together, Georgia’s college and university systems are a prime incubator for the kinds of collaboration and innovation needed to support the quickly evolving field.
In April, the University of Georgia hosted more than 150 people for a one-day Electric Mobility Summit to learn more about the current state of electric mobility and how educational institutions can support the expansion of the EV industry. The summit connected researchers with key stakeholders including government officials and economic development professionals, and leaders from companies like Kia, Rivian, and SK Battery America.
The summit was part of UGA’s Electric Mobility Initiative, which includes a $1 million investment over the next five years to support research in battery re-use and recycling. The university is also developing an E-Mobility certification for students, and is looking to recruit 10 leading researchers and educators in electric mobility to its faculty. Georgia Power recently gifted the university’s College of Engineering $5 million to support those efforts.
In a recent guest column, leaders from the school stated that UGA’s strength in teaching, research, and service makes it a powerful asset in the development of Georgia’s electric mobility framework.
“In fiscal year 2022, our research and development expenditures surpassed $545 million, a 55.8% increase over the past nine years.” — University of Georgia President Jere W. Morehead, and Senior VP for Academic Affairs and Provost S. Jack Hu
Georgia is steadily drawing EV battery suppliers and recyclers to support its e-mobility ecosystem, and battery research and development is key for sustainably electrifying Georgia’s roads. Georgia Tech recently hosted a wide array of stakeholders working and learning within the battery ecosystem for “Battery Day.”
The day-long event was focused on advancing energy storage technologies, as university researchers are working to develop safe batteries that also remain on the cutting-edge, as well as extending the first life of batteries and exploring recycling technologies. Stabilizing the supply chain and battery diversification were also topics of discussion.
As Georgia attracts more Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers for its two upcoming EV manufacturing plants and the state looks to adopt more EV-friendly infrastructure, including charging stations at state parks, continued R&D will be vital for supporting the state’s electric future – including in aerospace with electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) craft entering the manufacturing picture in the state. This article by Georgia Tech goes in-depth on the variety of ways professors and researchers at the university are working to find e-mobility solutions.
Further, a strategic arm of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, the Georgia Center of Innovation’s Energy Tech, Manufacturing, and Aerospace teams have been cultivating an ecosystem of opportunities for innovative companies across the electric mobility spectrum. One example of a direct beneficiary is Archer Aviation, which will realize the advantages of more than 10 years of work by the Center of Innovation to build and connect Unmanned Arial Systems (UAS) networks for the commercialization of Advanced Air Mobility and UAS Systems.
Opportunities for connection like these one-day summits through Georgia’s college and university systems are only increasing, so be on the lookout for more, and learn more about the EV industry in Georgia on our website at georgia.org/EV.