Writing by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey
In 1985, I packed my things into a Datsun B-210 and made the drive from my hometown of Toledo, Ohio, all the way to Tempe. As a young college student, there was nothing like the excitement of hitting the open road to start a new adventure.
A lot has changed since then. Americans are still hitting the road to pursue their dreams but the cars they’re driving have evolved. As innovation and technology advances, affordable electric vehicles that are safe and clean will play an increasing part in our nation’s transportation future. And many of them will be made right here in Arizona.
Arizona has earned a reputation as one of the best places to test, launch and scale new ideas. We’ve seen this in our business environment that attracts high-wage technology and manufacturing jobs from companies on the cutting edge of major industries. Drone-manufacturer and operator Airobotics chose Scottsdale for its global headquarters. TuSimple is making automated semi-trucks in Tucson. At Fab 42 in Chandler, Intel continues to produce semiconductors from one of the most advanced factories in the world.
Like these other industries, the electric vehicle market is rapidly expanding and Arizona is leading the charge.
Earlier this year, Nikola Motor Company chose Coolidge—one of 30 sites across the country being considered—to open the manufacturing plant for its hydrogen-electric semi-trucks. This investment will bring more than 2,000 jobs for Arizonans and $1 billion in capital investment, providing an economic jolt to Pinal County and our entire state.
Just a half-hour away from Nikola’s plant will be a new manufacturing operation for Lucid Motors. Lucid chose Casa Grande after exploring more than 60 sites in the United States. Our state’s commitment to business-friendly policies, streamlined regulations and a well-developed pipeline of engineering talent were all cited by Lucid as reasons to bring more than 2,000 jobs and $700 million in capital investment to Arizona.
With more high-tech jobs and positions coming here, we want to make sure Arizonans are prepared to fill them. That’s why our budget invests in meeting workforce needs across the state.
In Pinal County, Arizona is partnering with the Arizona Commerce Authority, the City of Casa Grande and Central Arizona College to create a training center that will equip current and future residents in the region with advanced manufacturing skills that these motor companies and the growing industrial sector need.
Our support for electric vehicles goes beyond simply building them here. Arizona recently joined an interstate Electric Vehicle Corridor agreement that promotes best practices among participating states to facilitate and expand the usage of electric vehicles.
It’s Arizonans’ entrepreneurial spirit, creativity and leadership in innovation that leads to success. We’re looking forward to seeing the continued success of electric vehicles.