“Our city has long been engaged in making our air cleaner and making our vehicles more efficient, and now we’re taking the next step,” Ann Arbor Mayor John Hieftje said last week at a celebration marking the installation of 18 electric vehicle charging stations in the city’s downtown.
“This isn’t a case of ‘build it and they will come’,” Hieftje said. “The fact of the matter is electric vehicles are coming and so we better build the infrastructure to get ready for them.”
At the celebration in the city’s Forest St. parking structure, the podium was surrounded by electric vehicles, including Chevrolet Volts, a Nissan Leaf, two motorcycles from Ann Arbor manufacturer Current, and a retrofitted Chevrolet S10 whose owner has installed an electric engine.
Hieftje was joined at the celebration by representatives of the city’s Downtown Development Authority and the Clean Energy Coalition. Charles Griffith,climate and energy program director at the Ecology Center spoke on behalf of the Built by Michigan coalition, a group of manufacturers, dealers, labor organizations, environmentalists and other supporters of the electric-vehicle industry.
The 18 electric-vehicle charging stations in city structures can be accessed by the public free of charge, after paying the usual parking fees.
This project was substantially funded by a U.S. Department of Energy Clean Cities Recovery Act grant awarded through Ann Arbor-based Clean Energy Coalition.
“Through these installations, the DDA continues to encourage a variety of downtown transportation choices, maintain Ann Arbor’s position as a leader in sustainability, and help the city meet its emission reduction goals,” according to Susan Pollay, executive director of the DDA. “Electric vehicle charging stations are yet another reason for people to choose to come enjoy downtown Ann Arbor.”
EcoLink — June 2012 Ecolink
An online publication of the Ecology Center
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