New partnership to support electric vehicles in Ann Arbor

Mayor’s proclamation salutes ‘Drive Electric Week’

At the Sept. 15 City Council meeting, Ann Arbor Mayor John Hieftje presented a proclamation in support of National Drive Electric Week and the formation of the Drive Electric Ann Arbor Partnership (DEA2P) to support wider adoption of electric vehicles in the community.

Drive electric proclamation“Ann Arbor has always been a leader in adoption of new technologies that are environmentally friendly,” Hieftje said. “We’re happy to support collaborative approaches for expanding electric vehicle infrastructure in Ann Arbor consistent with our community’s climate goals.”

(Hieftje is third from right in this photo with electric vehicles and EV supporters.)

The city’s Climate Action Plan, adopted in 2012, includes recommendations to encourage electric vehicles and EV infrastructure as part of efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

In recent years, the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) has installed 18 publicly available EV charging stations at city, and their use has grown consistently. In addition, the University of Michigan, Washtenaw Community College, DTE and other institutions and businesses in the region also have installed charging stations for public and customer use.

“Electric vehicles are of significant economic importance to Michigan because they are designed and manufactured by Michigan companies and Michigan is a center for advanced battery research and development,” according Charles Griffith, climate and energy program director at the Ecology Center. The Ecology Center is a founding member of Built by Michigan, a coalition of businesses, labor groups, environmental organizations and others supporting the electric vehicle industry in Michigan.

The DEA2P includes the city, the Downtown Development Authority, local non-profit and advocacy organizations, DTE, U-M and local businesses. One of the partnership’s first initiatives is the creation of a web page on the city’s information for consumers and businesses about electric vehicles and where they can be charged in the city.

The city also announced new guidelines for commercial developments to encourage developers to consider installing electric-vehicle charging stations when a new project is proposed.

The mayor’s proclamation comes a few days before the Ann Arbor Drive Electric event, where dozens of electric vehicle drivers and enthusiasts will get together to highlight the fun, clean-air benefits, and cost savings of electric cars from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 19 at Briarwood Mall.

The free, public event will feature more than 20 electric vehicles from a variety of manufacturers, giving the public a chance to check out the latest models.

“Events like this are one of the best ways to promote electric vehicles because people get to experience the cars first-hand and learn about their environmental and economic benefits from EV owners,” according to Griffith. The Ecology Center organized the celebration along with the Michigan Electric Auto Association; sponsors include the Sierra Club and Briarwood Mall.

For more information, contact: Charles Griffith,, 734-369-9275

Published on September 16, 2014