BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) – The University of Alabama got help from the state to work with Mercedes Benz and Alabama Power to support Alabama’s growing electric car industry.
On Friday, Governor Kay Ivey announced the legislature authorized more than $16 million in bonds to build a Smart Communities and Innovation building on the University of Alabama campus.
“Growing a talent pool and retaining that talent pool in the state and being able to utilize the research and development to create what we call high demand academic programs to continue to recruit and train the best and brightest,” explained Russell Mumper, Vice President of Research and Economic Development at the University of Alabama.
Mumper said that money helps support the Alabama Mobility and Power Initiative. That’s a workforce and economic development program in support of the electric car industry and Alabama’s transportation network.
“It will be a collaborative space with not only our partners at Mercedes and Alabama Power, but University faculty, staff and students doing research on new battery technology, recycling and refurbishing, and looking at infrastructure and stability throughout the state,” he continued.
Mumper believes more than just UA students will join the AMP effort here over time.
“One of the major innovators of the AMP initiative will be the to create a national training center for electric vehicle infrastructure to on an annual basis bring over a thousand faculty and staff and employees from all over the country to come to Tuscaloosa.”
The UA Board of Trustees could decide what to name the Smart Communities and Innovation building in September. After that, the could be presented more definitive plans of what the building will look like.
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