A recent Analysis Group report for Advanced Energy Economy – called Economic Impact of Stimulus Investment in Transportation Electrification – demonstrates a significant return on the stimulus funds spent on electric vehicle (EV) and transportation electrification initiatives as part of President Biden’s American Jobs Plan.

According to the report, a total of $274 billion is slated for transportation electrification initiatives nationwide, which would result in a nearly five-fold return on public investment, or $1.3 trillion added to the national GDP!

This public investment would also spur upwards of 11 million jobs,[1] including EV and battery manufacturing positions; generate over $230 billion in tax revenue for federal, state, and local governments; result in $19 billion annual savings for consumers, businesses, and governments by switching to EVs; and also attract significant private investments at $2.60 to each $1 of public investment.

What does this mean for Wisconsin?

There are legislative discussions underway to allocate $5 million of Wisconsin’s Volkswagen Settlement funds for electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Governor Evers has also proposed $5 million in transportation-funded bonds to be used for EV charging infrastructure. If these two proposals pass, we would have $10 million in public funds investment in EV infrastructure. Using the Advanced Energy Economy report’s finding of a five-fold return on investment for public dollars spent for EV initiatives, these funds have a potential return of $50 million. This would bring Wisconsin’s current GDP of $294 billion to $344 billion, which is significant given that Wisconsin’s GDP dropped by almost $14 billion from 2019 to 2020.[2]

Of course, this $50 million return on investment doesn’t factor in any other future state or local public investments in transportation electrification, including grant programs, utility investments, and other local monies spent on rebates and incentives programs for electric vehicles and charging infrastructure.

Additionally, using the report’s estimated $2.60 in private investments for every $1 of public investment spent, the above combined $10 million in projected public investment from VW Settlement funds and transportation-funded bonds could spur an additional $26 million in direct private investments within the state.

None of the above returns take into account the number of potential Wisconsin jobs to be created by these investments, the fuel and maintenance cost-savings consumers and businesses can expect by switching to EVs, the tax generation that would trickle down to state and local governments from the federal stimulus, or any additional tax revenue generated from investments within the state.

Investing in the electric vehicle market may be the boost to Wisconsin’s economy and jobs that we so badly need.

[1] Measured in job years, i.e., a job created by stimulus spending that lasts one year equals one job-year. See report.
[2] Statista, Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the federal state of Wisconsin from 2000 to 2020, https://www.statista.com/statistics/188150/gdp-of-the-us-federal-state-of-wisconsin-since-1997/