ANN ARBOR. MI—The University of Michigan has launched an Electric Vehicle Center that will focus on cutting-edge research and education. It will be run by Alan Taub, Ph.D., a professor of materials science and mechanical engineering, and a former auto industry executive. Taub previously served as vice president of global R&D at General Motors, and held leadership roles at Ford Motor Co. and General Electric.

“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,” says Alec Gallimore, Ph.D., dean of the University of Michigan’s College of Engineering. “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.”

Among his first tasks as director, Taub will establish an industry advisory board and work with its members to identify needs, and set the center’s initial workforce development strategies and R&D priorities.

“We’re undergoing a redefinition of personal mobility in a way we haven’t seen in a century,” explains Taub. “It requires changes to the vehicles, the infrastructure, consumer behavior, policy and more. We need academia, industry and government to work together to enable a smooth transition.”