EVs Are Driving an Economic Boom
Electric vehicles are here to stay, and Cincinnati has an economic role in the future of plugin-powered driving.
REDI Cincinnati’s research team has developed industry sector analyses, and these insightful documents highlight the most important areas poised to drive the region’s economic progress, both in the present and the near future. Spanning diverse sectors, the reports touch upon areas from sustainable packaging to semiconductors. Their comprehensive nature ensures that stakeholders have a clear understanding of emerging trends and potential growth avenues.
The following report focuses on the electric vehicles industry, an exciting new development within the age-old automotive industry (at which we’ll be looking deeper in a future post). The electric vehicle market has experienced a steady increase in numbers, and with tax subsidies, improved charging infrastructure and various other incentives encouraging buyers to make the switch to EVs, an electric future is likely just around the corner.
That’s great news for the industry developing around EVs, much of which is happening right here in Cincinnati.
Fueling the Future
There’s a lot to love about electric vehicles. In terms of sustainability, of course, the move away from carbon-based fossil fuels is critical as the global population shifts to address climate concerns. And as the automotive industry continues its progress toward low- and no-emissions vehicles, answering the public’s call for improved sustainability within the automotive sector, a whole new industry has sprung up around electric vehicles, offering exciting advances in both driving and employment.
Here in Cincinnati, this means jobs—some 1.2 thousand across 24 businesses as of 2021, in fact—but what, you might wonder, does EV employment entail? There’s a lot going on under the hood of this exciting new industry, and that requires a robust workforce.
EV jobs have grown at a whopping 58% rate over the past 5 years here in Cincinnati, with a projected 7% growth rate ahead over the next half-decade. This number is well above the national average, and our region claims a location quotient* of 1.15. Also notable? The average wage in the local EV employment landscape is within 3.25% of the cost of living adjusted total current earnings—which is to say that a job in the EV industry will enable a comfortable life here in Cincinnati.
These jobs are across a range of skill sets, too, some similar to traditional automotive employment and some specific to electric vehicles. Among the top EV job categories in our area are assemblers and fabricators; machine tool setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic; automotive technicians and mechanics; engine and machine assemblers; and inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers and weighers.
The EV industry is still young, of course, but as the likely future of the automotive industry, it’s only going to grow in the coming years. Cincinnati’s role is already a strong one, with Cincinnati’s EV industry boasting a GRP of $114.4 million, with local demand in 2020 hitting some $ 251.7 million. And currently half of all EV industry demand in Cincinnati is met by local businesses, though increase in demand is very likely to be met by even higher rates of local activity.
But what’s driving (pun intended) all this growth?
First, batteries are huge—yes, literally (an EV battery does the work of a traditional car’s fuel tank, so you should expect it to take up some space), but also economically. As the industry has shifted from hybrid models to fully battery-powered plug-in vehicles, the demand for capable vehicle batteries has resulted in a lot of attention from engineering firms, manufacturers and other business providers. And improvement is a key goal for the EV subsector as the industry works to allay consumer fears about range anxiety via battery storage, charging concerns and overall performance.
GM is a power player in the local EV economy, with $122B in annual sales. Bosch is another local leader, with close to $83B in annual sales, while Tesla boasts annual sales of more than $31B.
And while batteries and their components are the major component of both the EV industry and the vehicles themselves, other areas where demand is met locally include motor vehicle electrical/electronic equipment manufacturing, as well as other automotive mechanical and electrical repair/maintenance.
Cincinnati Is All In on Electric Vehicles
Cincinnati leaders understand that, in order to be a true player in the EV economy, the city needs to be a place where electric car drivers feel welcome and appreciated. To that end, the All-Electric Vehicle Incentive Program is where the rubber meets the road in Cincinnati. Put in place to participate in the American Cities Climate Challenge, the incentive program offers electric car drivers a permit for free parking at any city meter.
Furthermore, the city of Cincinnati has a growing fleet of electric vehicles for city use, with the goal of all city vehicles (including fire and garbage trucks, and even lawn equipment!) being electric by the year 2035. Additionally, Cincinnati’s streetcar, an electric-powered transit system, offers free rides across the city, efficiently connecting various neighborhoods and key landmarks without any fare.
The city is also pursuing strategies for ensuring charging stations are readily accessible across all 52 neighborhoods, too, including in any garage that receives city funds. And Metro is even adding electric buses using grant money from Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments. These investments are sure to have an incredible impact.
Once the stuff of science fiction, electric vehicles and the gas-free revolution has arrived on our roads and in our driveways and garages. It’s a serious move for sustainability, ecological health, and domestic fuel independence. And as an economic sector, the EV revolution is great news for local jobs and the Cincinnati economy.
* According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, a location quotient “is an analytical statistic that measures a region’s industrial specialization relative to a larger geographic unit (usually the nation).”
** For further information regarding the automotive industry in the Cincinnati region, please visit HERE or contact Trevor Wellbrock, REDI Cincinnati director of Business Development (513.579.3110; email@example.com)