When you think about it, cities, schools, county governments and the state government all use a lot of cars and trucks. If they would commit to buying Michigan-made electric vehicles they could cut their long-term energy costs, generate jobs in their own communities and support the state’s economy.
In addition to putting electric vehicles in their fleets, cities have a major role to play in installing the infrastructure—charging stations in public places—that will be needed to get the public on board.
Getting our cities and other units of government to support the electric-vehicle industry is one of the key elements of our Built by Michigan strategy.
So our hats are off to some recent projects generating some juice across the state.
At Western Michigan University, they’ve recently installed 15 charging stations supported by a grant from our friends at the Clean Energy Coalition. And the best part? These charging stations are solar powered, magnifying the environmental benefits and reducing the long-term bill for the university. Added to the five others elsewhere on campus, this means that WMU now has the largest number of charging stations of any school in the country.
“Electric vehicles and hybrid-electric vehicles are still in their infancy, but WMU is leading the way to support widespread adoption,” according to Harold Glasser, WMU’s executive director for campus sustainability. “The current situation is akin to when the density of gas stations was one of the limits to widespread adoption of the automobile. We are thrilled . . . to provide clean, green electric vehicle charging infrastructure for the campus community and everyone who visits our campus.”
Auburn Hills, the home of Chrysler, has also made a lot of progress, and is getting national attention for its plans to prepare the city to welcome EVs (see story below.) And Ann Arbor is getting on board, too. Tomorrow (June 19), in fact, they’re celebrating the installation of 18 EV charging stations in public parking structures around downtown.
These stations have been in the planning for a couple of years, and it’s great that the city government and downtown development authority have worked closely to welcome electric vehicles and their drivers to the community.
How about your town? Are you geared up for the electric vehicles headed your way? It might be time to get on board, embrace the future and charge up.
Climate & Energy Program Director
The Ecology Center