University of Michigan to open EV research centre


The University and state of Michigan have finalized a contract for a $130 million Electric Vehicle Center. The centre is designated to be focused on accelerating collaborative research and development, building a skilled workforce and creating a campus that supports both.

Alan Taub, an engineering professor and former auto industry executive, was appointed by Alec Gallimore, Robert J. Vlasic Dean of Engineering, as the director for the centre. Taub previously served as vice president of global R&D at General Motors and held leadership positions at Ford and General Electric. At the University of Michigan, he is a professor of materials science and engineering and mechanical engineering.

Among his first tasks as director, Taub will establish an industry advisory board and work with its members to identify needs and set the centre’s initial workforce development strategies and R&D priorities. Taub is building on a strong mobility history in the state: “We’re undergoing a redefinition of personal mobility in a way we haven’t seen in a century. Southeast Michigan drove the evolution of mobility from the horse and carriage to affordable automobiles 100 years ago. We have what it takes to do it again, but the stakes are as tremendous as the opportunity”

The state of Michigan is supporting the centre with an estimated $20 million. The centre is then planned to target both current and future generations of mobility workers with educational offerings at U-M and other institutions across the state, aiming to eventually engage more than 1,200 students a year throughout its network. This will then support the growing e-mobility industry in the state.

“This prudent investment from the state is going to be pivotal in ushering in a mobility future that is sustainable, safe, and equitable for Michigan workers, our communities, and the nation,” said Alec Gallimore. “While the EV revolution is well underway, there’s an immense amount of work to do in order to meet—and then push beyond—the U.S. goal that half of new car sales be electric by 2030. We need to address areas like the workforce, cost, vehicle range, charging infrastructure and sustainability. Our center will build on more than a century of U-M leadership in transportation to tackle these and other critical areas.”


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