The electric vehicle supply chain in Pennsylvania could easily grow by more than 350 companies, many of them in counties and industries that have seen tough economic times in recent years, according to an analysis published late last month by the national business association Advanced Energy Economy.
“Pennsylvania has the chance to be in the driver’s seat for the coming electric transportation revolution,” said AEE Principal Daniel Bloom. “This report reveals a real and immediate opportunity to nurture an electric vehicle supply chain in Pennsylvania, generating well-paying jobs where they are needed across the Commonwealth.”
“As Pennsylvania, like many other states, considers economic recovery strategies following the COVID-19 public health crisis, the unique opportunity to capitalize on electric transportation growth should get serious attention from policy-makers,” the organization adds in a release.
The study by BW Research Partnership concluded that electric transportation already supported nearly 4,400 jobs in 151 companies and contributed more than US$430 million to the state’s gross domestic product in 2019, “as many jobs as natural gas extraction and as much economic activity as sporting goods stores in the state,” AEE notes. “Moreover, jobs in the state’s electric transportation industry were at that time projected to grow 24% between 2019 and 2024, compared with 3% growth across state-wide employment over the same time frame.”
While the COVID-19 pandemic has put a major crimp in the state economy, the study anticipated EV adoption in Pennsylvania quadrupling over the next five years, driven by lower purchase prices, better technology, and “consumer desire for vehicles that are cleaner and cheaper to fuel and maintain”. It identifies 351 Pennsylvania-based companies that could retool to join the EV supply chain, and another 190 that could make the transition with a bit more time and investment.
“A number of these firms are part of industries that have seen declines in recent years, but their workers have skills that are directly applicable to the electric vehicle supply chain,” the AEE release states. “These include assemblers, fabricators, and press machine setters.”