Put a ribbon on it! Electric vehicle and battery industries bring great cheer to Michigan

Dear Reader,

We’ve had a lot of juicy news this month for the Built by Michigan electric-vehicle and advanced-battery industries.

For example, the sharp cookies over at Current Motor have introduced a new marketing wrinkle for their extra cool, all electric “super scooters.” They’re offering a package deal, selling them four at a time, along with a solar-powered charging station, to be used in fleets at universities, corporate campuses, municipalities and other agencies. That seems like a great model for introducing ultra-clean, zero emission transportation in a fun to drive vehicle (at least once the weather warms up a bit for us Michiganders).

Speaking of juice, it’s great to hear that LG Chem has begun shipping its Holland-made batteries to the GM Detroit/Hamtramck plant for installation in the Chevy Volts being assembled there. LG Chem took a lot of media hits and other regulatory snags getting to this point, but as one of their engineers says, “It was just a matter of time, and that time has come.”

For you State fans, this might not be as good as the Rose Bowl, but all of us can celebrate Michigan’s ranking as one of the top states in the nation in the growth of “green jobs.” Electric vehicles and the battery industry are playing a big role, adding thousands of jobs in Michigan since 2011.

And in EV news from the Big Apple, New York City has just passed a new law that will increase the number of charging stations from 200 to 10,000 in the next few years. Since many of the vehicles plugged in will be made in Michigan, that’s good news for us. We also hope Michigan municipal leaders are paying attention.

Finally, since they won’t hit the dealerships until January, you shouldn’t expect to see a Cadillac ELR with a ribbon on it in your driveway this Christmas. But the reviews are starting to come in, and it sounds like a real Cadillac, with a hand-stitched leather interior and real wood trim.

Hmmm. I’m wondering how it would look in pink.

Thanks for all you do.

Charles Griffith
Climate & Energy Program Director
The Ecology Center