Tuscaloosa Senate Delegation Applauds Gov. Ivey’s Announcement of $16.5 Million Investment into University of Alabama Research and Development Building

By Gerald Allen & Greg Reed

Says the funds to develop the Smart Communities and Innovation Building on the University of Alabama’s campus will transform the transportation industry in Alabama and chart the path towards electric vehicle development and infrastructure across the state

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Senators Greg Reed (R-Jasper), Gerald Allen (R-Northport) and Bobby Singleton (D-Greensboro) today released statements on Governor Kay Ivey’s announcement of $16.5 million in Public School and College Authority Bond proceeds to develop the Smart Communities and Innovation Building on the University of Alabama’s campus.

This building’s purpose will be to house world-class research infrastructure and brain power with the purpose of transforming the transportation industry in Alabama and making the state a national leader in innovation in the area of 21st century electric vehicle technology, workforce and infrastructure. The Alabama Transportation Institute, the Alabama Department of Transportation’s West Central Region’s Transportation Systems Management Operations, and the Alabama Mobility and Power Initiative (AMP), will all be located in this building.

The AMP initiative is a result of a partnership between The Alabama Power Company and Mercedes-Benz U.S. International to create a world-class research and development hub for creating and sustaining modern mobility and power technologies, developing a charging infrastructure, and managing power delivery to support large scale growth in electric vehicles.

“It has been a privilege to support the development of the Smart Communities and Innovation Building on the University of Alabama’s campus. The Alabama Mobility and Power Initiative will use the resources this building provides to leverage the state’s strengths in the automotive manufacturing industry and world-class university sponsored research to discover the next generation technologies to be applied to vehicles and batteries manufactured in the state,” said Senator Reed. “I fully believe that this investment by the state will modernize Alabama’s research and development in the next generation of electric vehicle technology in a manner responsive to industry and with an eye for future growth.”

“This is great news for the Tuscaloosa community, the University of Alabama and our state as a whole. A number of highly motivated people and organizations have come together and created a mission to set our state on a path towards a bright future in this important, fast-growing industry,” said Senator Allen. “The governor’s announcement today is a testament to all involved in making this happen, the University of Alabama in particular. I am excited to see the development of this dynamic building on my alma matter’s campus and the benefits it will provide for our state.”

“Alabama will be on the forefront of this technology, which will lead to new and greener jobs for the people of our state,” said Senate Minority Leader Bobby Singleton. “The international community is demanding battery-powered vehicles and this investment by the state will make West Alabama a global leader in this field.”