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February 22, 2023

The Electric Vehicle Industry's Mixed Welcome in the Southeast

Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions

Nearly every state in the Southeast United States has signed a large economic development deal with an electric vehicle (EV) company or battery producer. Yet many states in the region also levy extra registration fees on EV owners because they don't pay gas taxes that contribute to highway upkeep.

Trey Gowdy, research analyst at Duke University's Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment & Sustainability, talked with The Bond Buyer about the dichotomy. Gowdy also discussed initiatives that the Nicholas Institute is pursuing in the region to forward adaptation of public infrastructure, funding methods, and policies to contribute to the industry's growth.

"Our goal is to connect across sectors of key developments and opportunities across the region to engage in this space," Gowdy said.

"Substantial activity at the federal and state level" is driving ground-up development of EV infrastructure by building out public charging networks, setting minimum quotas and standards, and making the vehicles more affordable and available to a wider cross-section of the country, Gowdy told The Bond Buyer. Data analysis, new research, and "other opportunities providing greater visibility into transportation electrification" are important to continuing that work, he added.

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