The clean mobility sector contributes $18.8 billion to Michigan’s economy and generates over $700 million in state and local tax revenue annually, according to a new economic analysis released by Clean Fuels Michigan.

The study was conducted by Michigan-based Public Sector Consultants and analyzed various economic benefits that result from private-sector investments in research, development and commercialization of clean mobility technologies. Clean mobility includes vehicles that use less-polluting alternatives to fossil fuels, such as biofuels, propane, natural gas, hydrogen fuel cells, electrification and hybrids.

“Whether we are looking to support advanced mobility innovations like autonomous or connected vehicles, preserve and grow our skilled workforce, or do more to support clean energy solutions, clean transportation technologies are truly the backbone of a global arms race towards the next generation of mobility,” states Mike Alaimo, executive director of Clean Fuels Michigan. “As the auto capital of the world, Michigan needs to ensure that our policies reflect the rapid change and fierce competition in the global arena.”

Other key findings from the analysis include as follows:

  • Michigan currently has 29,000 direct clean fuel vehicle jobs. Including indirect and induced employment, clean fuel vehicles contribute over 69,000 jobs to Michigan’s economy.
  • The clean fuel vehicles sector contributes $18.8 billion to Michigan’s economy each year and generates over $700 million in state and local taxes when direct, indirect and induced effects are incorporated.
  • Technology and policy changes will push the vehicle sector increasingly toward clean fuels.
  • A 2016 American Lung Association study of 10 states found that having the majority of a state’s vehicle fleet be emissions-free by 2050 could reduce vehicle-related air pollution health costs by 88%. The improvement in air quality Michigan would likely see from a transition to clean fuel vehicles would lead to Medicaid cost savings.
  • From 2011 to 2016, the state submitted over 3,162 clean technology transportation patents, the most in the nation. Michigan also leads on a per-capita basis, submitting 32 patents per 100,000 residents.
  • There are currently 346 electric charging stations operating in Michigan, not including home charging stations.

“The rapid growth of clean fuel vehicles has big implications for Michigan’s automotive, tech and energy industries, which make up a significant portion of the state’s workforce,” comments Jeff Guilfoyle, vice president of Public Sector Consultants and lead author of the study. “Millions of these vehicles are projected to be on our roads over the next few years. Government policies have and will continue to play an important role when looking at ways this evolving industry can affect Michigan’s overall economic health.”

The report notes that Michigan automakers and utility companies are actively working to support the increased adoption of electric vehicles.

“Supporting innovation in the clean fuels sector can drive down costs and help us overcome barriers to electric vehicle adoption, like access to charging infrastructure,” says Vince Carioti, director of e-mobility at Phoenix Contact, a maker of industrial electrical and electronic technology products. “As a large, privately held auto supplier, we see enormous opportunity for growth in Michigan’s clean fuels sector and are excited about working to increase our presence there.”

“DTE Energy is working to ensure plug-in electric and natural gas vehicles are integrated in a manner that ensures safe and reliable operation of the grid,” adds Rob Bacyinski, program manager of natural gas vehicle business development at DTE Energy and chair of the board at Clean Fuels Michigan. “We believe that clean fuels and electric vehicles will bring added benefits to not only the energy grid, but customers and the public at large.”

The full report can be found here.

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