Business & Economy Science & Technology

Georgia Power commits $5M to invest in e-mobility at UGA

UGA and Georgia Power officials gathered Friday for the announcement of the Georgia Power gift to the university at the Electric Mobility Summit at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education & Hotel. Pictured left to right are Donald Leo, College of Engineering dean; Bentina Terry, senior vice president of customer strategy and solutions at Georgia Power; UGA President Jere W. Morehead; Kim Greene, chairman, president and CEO of Georgia Power; Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost S. Jack Hu; and Meredith Lackey, executive vice president of external affairs and nuclear development at Georgia Power. (Andrew Davis Tucker/UGA)

Gift will create scholarships, support research and build statewide partnerships

The field of electric mobility, or e-mobility, is an area of tremendous growth in the state of Georgia. Thanks to a $5 million gift from Georgia Power Company to the UGA College of Engineering, the University of Georgia is aiming to be a leader in e-mobility for years to come.

“The University of Georgia is extremely grateful to Georgia Power Company for their generous investment in our efforts to advance e-mobility through teaching, research, and outreach,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. “Through our long-standing partnership with Georgia Power, UGA is expanding the educational opportunities available to our students and contributing to the economic development of our state.”

Georgia Power Chairman, President and CEO Kim Greene announced the gift at the second annual Electric Mobility Summit hosted by the University of Georgia. The summit brings together leaders in academics, research, industry and government to discuss opportunities and challenges in the e-mobility sector.

“Electric vehicle technology and innovation is already making a positive impact here in our state—from more EVs on the road every day, to the incredible economic growth we see thanks to new jobs and investment being driven by the industry,” said Greene. “At Georgia Power, we’re committed to helping that growth continue, and we know that having the workforce ready to support it is key. That’s why we’re proud to partner with UGA to help advance e-mobility on every level, bringing opportunities that will benefit future generations of Georgians for years to come.”

The $5 million gift is the largest single gift in the College of Engineering’s history. It will fund an array of programs and opportunities related to electric transportation, from cars and bicycles to aircraft, as well as their accompanying technologies and infrastructure. Through this support, Georgia Power and the university hope to advance the field of e-mobility and ensure the state of Georgia benefits from that advancement.

Georgia Power’s gift will be distributed across four areas:

  • Cultivation of an E-Mobility Network: UGA’s Engineering E-Mobility Fund broadly supports e-mobility initiatives in teaching, research and outreach. Added support here from Georgia Power will, among other benefits, help expand UGA’s Certificate in E-Mobility program; increase access of underrepresented and underserved communities to e-mobility opportunities; and help UGA bring together partners from academia, research, industry and communities across the state of Georgia.
  • E-Mobility Scholarships: The new Georgia Power E-Mobility Scholarship Fund will create scholarships to support students pursuing UGA’s Certificate E-mobility.
  • E-Mobility Research: E-mobility research at UGA will be enhanced by the newly established Georgia Power Research Fund in E-Mobility, which may support research on battery technology and design, among other topics.
  • E-Mobility Community Partnerships: To ensure the advances UGA makes are shared with all of Georgia, the Georgia Power E-Mobility Community Partnership Fund will provide resources for UGA to use in exploring strategic partnerships with other academic institutions in the state—from four-year institutions to historically Black colleges and universities to technical colleges—as well as communities and industry groups, with an emphasis on underserved and rural communities.

Jay Broach, fleet operations manager for Georgia Power Company, demonstrates features of one of Georgia Power’s electric fleet vehicles for UGA mechanical engineering student Alexander Torjak as part of an Introduction to E-mobility course. (Submitted photo)

“UGA’s position as a flagship university means we are uniquely positioned to capitalize on the significant investments that are occurring in e-mobility in Georgia and transform these investments into benefits for our students and all of our communities,” said College of Engineering Dean Don Leo. “My sincere thanks to Georgia Power for their continued partnership.”

This is the second gift Georgia Power has made to the university to support e-mobility. In April 2022, the company made a $250,000 gift to create the Georgia Power Electric Mobility Distinguished Professorship, an endowed faculty position in the College of Engineering.

Georgia Power’s contributions aim to further advance the e-mobility sector in Georgia, which has grown significantly in recent years. The company’s economic development team partners with the state to help attract and retain businesses in Georgia every day. According to the Georgia Department of Economic Development, since 2018, 35 electric-vehicle-related projects have committed more than $23 billion in realized or planned investments in Georgia. Among these are high-profile projects from companies like Rivian, Hyundai Motor Group and SK Battery America.

UGA also has committed resources to support this growth area for the state. Last year, UGA announced its Electric Mobility Initiative, which provides seed funding for new e-mobility projects and brings together thought leaders to discuss innovative approaches to electric mobility across Georgia and the region. The university will soon launch a faculty hiring initiative to recruit 10 leading researchers in the field of electric mobility to its campus.