A couple of months ago I had the pleasure of spending $5,000 to replace the transmission in my 2014 Ford Escape. Less than 85,000 miles and it went kaput. And the mechanic couldn’t offer an explanation as to why, other than a shrug.
It marked the first time that I started to ask myself: what about an electric vehicle? (OK, it took some prodding from a co-worker, a Prius disciple, no less, to get me thinking about a non-gas powered automobile). But the seed had been planted.
Turns out I’m not alone. From 2020 to 2021, electric vehicle ownership in South Carolina increased by 70%. Admittedly, I am seeing a lot more Teslas on the roads here in the Upstate.
South Carolina has found a niche with the electric vehicle industry. So much so that leaders are referring to the Palmetto State as the ‘Battery Belt.’ The state is certainly making a name for itself in electric vehicle and ECV battery manufacturing. Since 2017, nearly $11 billion has been invested in the sector.
The spurt in EV action is why we made it the focus on this issue’s automotive theme. It’s undoubtedly the future, which why state leaders, including Gov. Henry McMaster, who recently announced the creation of the state’s first website devoted to the electric vehicle industry, are all in.
Click here for the digital edition of the May/June SCBIZ Magazine.
In addition to the five stories in the focus section about electric vehicles – and another form of alternative fuel, hydrogen – you’ll find though pieces from Andi Rawl, executive director of the SC Automotive Council, who touts the state’s “EV”olution, and Greenville Area Development Corp. president and CEO Mark Farris about the economic impact of the auto industry in the Upstate — and all of South Carolina.
So buckle up, it’s going to be a fun ride. By the way, does anyone happen to have $5,000 I can borrow?
Jason Thomas is the executive editor of SC Biz News. Reach him via emal at [email protected].