UA, Mercedes-Benz, Alabama Power collaborate on electric vehicle research, development

As the automotive world transitions to electricity, Alabama wants its automakers to keep pace.

A new partnership between the University of Alabama, Alabama Power and Mercedes-Benz could make that happen.

The university’s board of trustees has approved forming the Alabama Mobility and Power Center, which its creators hope will be a leading research and development center to speed along growth in the electric vehicle field.

The move comes at a time when Mercedes has already committed $1 billion to expanding its electric vehicle production, and plans to begin manufacturing electric SUVs at its Tuscaloosa County plant next year. Alabama’s other auto manufacturers are in the midst of similar moves. Alabama is third in the nation for auto exports, with $7.5 billion in Alabama-made vehicles and parts exported in 2018.

Michael Goebel, president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, said the company is set to go all electric by the end of the decade, as market conditions allow.

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