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Electric Vehicles Energizing Kentucky Economy

Ryan Van Velzer

It’s National Drive Electric Week and corporations are making major investments in electric vehicle technologies benefiting Kentucky.

Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gases in the U.S. and making the transition away from fossil fuels will require large investments.

To that end, Ford Motor Company is announcing its single biggest manufacturing investment in its history at the same time that utilities are working toward building a network of charging stations along major highways. 

Ford announced plans Monday to bring thousands more jobs to Kentucky to build batteries for electric vehicles.

Ford plans on spending $11.4 billion and creating 11,000 new jobs to “lead the electric vehicle revolution” in the U.S.; 5,000 of those jobs will be in Glendale, Kentucky where Ford is building twin battery plants to power a new lineup of Ford and Lincoln electric vehicles. 

Production is set to begin in 2025.

Also on Monday, the parent company of Louisville Gas and Electric, PPL, announced a partnership with 17 utilities to build a network of charging stations across much of the East coast. 

PPL plans to join the Electric Highway Coalition with the goal of enabling EV drivers to travel seamlessly across the eastern half of the US, from the Midwest to the gulf, to the central plains to the Atlantic coast. 

“Joining the Electric Highway Coalition is part of our commitment to advance a cleaner energy future and drive innovation that, collectively, enables us to achieve net-zero emissions,” said Vince Sorgi, president and CEO of PPL Corporation, in a statement. “We are proud to be part of this united effort to support electric transportation in a collaborative and intelligent way that is beneficial for our customers and the environment.”

LG&E and has already built nearly two dozen public charging stations in Kentucky and has plans to build more along major highways. 

The announcements underscore not only the major investments companies are making in green technologies right now, but the economic benefits that Kentucky stands to gain as the world transitions away from fossil fuels. 

The latest report from the world’s leading panel of climate scientists urges humanity to eliminate its reliance on fossil fuels as fast as possible to avoid the worst effects of climate change. 

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