Photo: Getty Images
Topics: Battery, Chemistry, Climate Change, Economics, Global Warming
Welcome back to The Green Era, a weekly newsletter bringing you the news and trends in the world of sustainability. Click subscribe above to be notified of future editions.
The shift to renewable energy has caused consternation over the fate of workers in the fossil fuel industry. Those same concerns are hitting the automotive sector as U.S. demand for electric vehicles grows.
EVs require not just new assembly lines and parts but also factories to build the batteries that power them. The president of one of the biggest unions called the transition the largest in the industry’s history.
The automotive sector and its workers are not new to factory closures. The Great Recession brought the big three automakers to their knees, forcing the federal government to bail them out, leaving cities like Detroit and large swaths of the midwest with car workers out of a job.
This time could be different. Many factories are being converted and are investing in retraining their workers. The batteries and charging infrastructure required present another opportunity. Ford, General Motors, and Volkswagen are all building new battery manufacturing plants or expanding existing ones in Tennessee.
The EV transition is changing workers’ skills and state economies, Jordyn Dahl, LinkedIn