Future Mobility


May 31st, 2022

Post by Asa S. Hopkins, PhD Principal Associate, Synapse Energy Economics

Report finds that investment in electric vehicles has potential to spark growth across public and private sectors

Over the next few years, Ohio’s political, business and investment leaders will determine whether Ohio captures economic growth by embracing today’s evolving transportation sector or loses valuable business to domestic and international competition by clinging to the status quo. The difference is striking: by 2030, the economic growth generated by transportation technologies stand to generate more than $6 billion in capital investment, more than $900 million per year of manufacturing value added, more than 9,000 middle-income jobs in the industry, and 18,000 additional jobs throughout the rest of the economy. 

Because the stakes are high, a group of leaders came together to create a vision—starting with the May 2018 release of Synapse Energy Economics’ report Powering Ohio: A Vision for Growth and Energy Investment, developed in partnership with the Great Lakes Energy Institute at Case Western Reserve University. Smart Columbus project teams were interviewed to inform the report, and projects from the Smart Columbus Electrification Program were held up as best practices within the findings.

The third-party report outlined that Ohio’s auto industry faces both great risk and great opportunity from the industry transformation underway. Ohio could be left behind as demand for internal combustion vehicles falls, or Ohio could embrace electric drive manufacturing and extend its automotive leadership, the report concluded. 
Vehicles are evolving. New models are lighter and more efficient, and the industry is transforming to build a connected, automated, and electrified future. Morgan Stanley projects that global sales of internal combustion cars will peak within the next five years, while Bloomberg New Energy Finance projects U.S. electric vehicle sales will grow 30 percent per year for the next decade and beyond. Intel projects that the global market for automated shared vehicles may be worth $7 trillion by 2050. Vehicle-to-vehicle connectivity is already installed in some GM cars and is expected to be widely available within a few years after finalization of federal rules and standards.

Fortunately, the report concluded, Ohio builds from a strong foundation as a manufacturing powerhouse, a center for innovation and home to a skilled workforce. The connected and electrified future will arrive in some of Ohio’s regions earlier than others. The leading locations will entice innovators and the investment to fund their ideas. Ohio has unique resources for developing our future transportation system, and for attracting the innovators that will create new opportunities for growth. These resources give Ohio a leg up on other states in competing for new transportation and mobility businesses. Smart Columbus is one of these key resources.

The non-partisan vision in this report draws on the insights and experiences of representatives from some of Ohio’s largest private employers, growing small companies, experienced state policymakers, city officials, labor voices, universities, and research and development institutions. Our advisors share a collaborative approach and a commitment to help Ohio move forward into a prosperous energy future. Many are already investing in this future. We are excited that Smart Columbus has joined the effort.


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