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Electric Vehicle Interim Study at the Oklahoma State Capitol Sheds Light on Oklahoma’s Growth Potential in the Automotive Industry

EVs are an opportunity for the state to innovate and improve a broken tax system.

On Thursday, September 10, 2020, the House Transportation Committee heard from industry experts on the future of electric vehicles and the many ways Oklahoma can capitalize on the rapidly growing industry. 

“As the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the Oklahoma City area, the Association of Central Oklahoma Governments (ACOG) approach accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles as deeply rooted in the goals and objectives of our long-range transportation plan,” John M. Sharp, ACOG Deputy Director said.  “As the affordability and availability of EVs has increased, a unique opportunity has emerged for our state to significantly decrease emissions from cars.”

Interim study IS20-033 was requested by Representative Brian Hill, who recognizes the fiscal effects of the shift to electric vehicles on Oklahoma, a state which relies on gasoline pump taxes to repair roads and bridges. 

“Across our nation, the electric vehicle sector is growing rapidly. With many national fleets currently converting to electric vehicles and projections of over half of the transportation market converting by 2040, the time is now to begin examining how Oklahoma can bring this industry to our state and pursue job growth and economic diversification,” Hill said. “As the Energy State and the crossroads of America, Oklahoma is the perfect place for this thriving and growing industry to build the future.”

Electrification of transportation is happening quickly, with the EV industry already employing many Oklahomans. Industry experts emphasized the benefits of Oklahoma acting swiftly to adapt to the changing market. 

Electricity fuels Oklahoma and employs thousands of Oklahomans. Oklahoma has the energy resources to become a leader in the global electric transportation market. Industry experts advised that state lawmakers must act quickly to benefit most from the inevitable change.

“The reality is that we are at the precipice of an enormous shift towards the electrification of transportation. The energy sector plays a critical role in this shift. Oklahoma has the opportunity now to claim its mantle as a worldwide energy leader and be at the forefront of this transition, reaping the economic benefits that entails,” said Jonathan Gray, Manager of Public Policy and Institutional Affairs for Enel North America.