What can our cities and towns do to promote Michigan industry?

casebook coverWe’ve advocated for state and federal incentives to support the growth of our homegrown electric-vehicle industry, but there’s a lot our cities and towns can do, too.

Some of our cities have put out the welcome mat for alternative-fuel vehicles (shout-out to Auburn Hills, and see the story below about news from Ann Arbor).

But we could learn some tricks from leading cities around the world, several of them cited in a recent report from the International Energy Agency and the Rocky Mountain Institute.

The report, called the EV City Casebook, highlights steps these leading cities are putting into place to encourage the adoption of EVs.

Leading by example is important, the study notes: “Many have already added electric vehicles to municipal fleets and incorporated hybrid buses into public transportation. They are placing charging spots at public buildings and, in some cases, offering discounted electricity rates for EV users from municipal-owned utilities.”

The leading cities are also assembling groups that include city planners, automakers, utilities, infrastructure suppliers, academic and research institutions, and city and national officials to work together to create a roadmap for EV readiness.

If Michigan cities were to adopt some of these ideas, they could go a long way toward supporting the electric vehicle and advanced-battery industries. And what would they get out of it? More jobs for their citizens and increased tax revenues from successful businesses locating here. Sounds like a good deal to us.