Michigan Ranked 26th Among States for Electric Vehicle Policies
September 22nd, 2023 - With the Detroit Auto Show winding down and National Drive Electric Week just kicking off, a broad coalition of organizations supporting bold action on equitable, electric transportation in Michigan called on state leaders to redouble their efforts to achieve the state’s goal of 2 million EVs on the road by 2030. While the Clean Cars 2030 coalition praised the state’s ambitious goal and progress, it cited a recent study from ACEEE ranking Michigan 26th in the nation for EV-friendly policies to suggest the state still needs to double down on its commitment.
“While Michigan has been making important strides in preparing for and encouraging the EV transition, particularly in attracting new battery and EV manufacturing investments, it has fallen behind other states in policies that help more Michiganders get behind the wheel of an electric vehicle,” said Charles Griffith, climate and energy program director at the Ecology Center. “If Michigan wants to be a true leader on electric vehicles and achieve its climate goals, policymakers must step up their game to advance policies and programs that improve access to EVs for all Michiganders.”
The MI Clean Cars 2030 campaign is united around making Governor Whitmer’s goal of having 2 million electric vehicles on the road a reality by making electric vehicles the optimum choice for Michiganders and expanding access to EVs and EV charging infrastructure – especially for the most gasoline-burdened drivers. The campaign also supports preparing the workforce for the transition to 21st-century automobile manufacturing, helping to ensure the retention of good-paying auto jobs.
The coalition is calling for developing a comprehensive plan and adopting additional policies and programs to ensure Michigan meets its 2030 goal in alignment with recommendations included in the Governor’s MI Healthy Climate Plan.
The top priorities of the campaign include the following:
- A comprehensive Transportation Electrification Plan (TEP) to lay out a strategy for meeting the state’s 2 million EVs by 2030 goal
- Additional investments and policies to ensure the equitable deployment of EV charging infrastructure, especially in Michigan communities where charging opportunities may currently be limited
- Vehicle purchase incentives to help offset the higher up-front cost of EVs, targeting low and moderate-income gasoline-burdened drivers
- Increased funding for job transition and retraining programs to ensure Michigan’s workforce is ready.
ACEEE’s 2023 State Transportation Electrification Scorecard ranked Michigan 26th overall with 23.5 points out of 100 and noted the progress on electrifying its transit and school bus fleets and the investments of its utilities in EV charging infrastructure. ACEEE’s State Energy Efficiency Scorecard echoes this progress on utility efforts, where Michigan ranked 3rd for utility and public program benefits. ACEEE found that the state could do more to incentivize the purchase of EVs, lags in outcomes such as the number of electric vehicles and chargers per capita, and could do more to ensure equitable outcomes.
"Michigan received zero points related to equity-focused policies and should dedicate funding to underserved communities to ensure everyone benefits from the transition to electric vehicles,” said Peter Huether, senior research associate at ACEEE and lead author of the report.
“Michigan is already a leader in creating EV-related jobs and providing EVs for the nation,” said Rob Sargent, policy director at Coltura, an organization focused on maximizing gasoline-use reductions. “But much more can be done to get more Michiganders to switch, starting with low- and moderate-income gasoline-burdened families who use lots of gasoline.”
Earlier this year, Michigan lawmakers made significant strides toward the goals in this plan by adopting a 2024 budget with several EV-related investments: $125 million for clean and electric school buses, $5 million for EV charging stations along Lake Michigan’s coastline, and $1 million to begin transitioning the state’s vehicle fleet to EVs. These are critical steps forward, but other recommendations that were included in the Governor’s Executive budget from her MI Healthy Climate Plan were left unfunded.
“The transportation sector is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions — and cars and trucks account for about 60% of the total for the sector. This is why it’s so important to focus on a rapid and just transition to all-electric vehicles for the everyday commute,” said Amy Rogge, co-founder of MEVA.” “Every year, it’s becoming easier to buy and drive an EV due to lower-priced new EVs coming into the market, more used EV purchases, and a vastly increasing number of charging stations across our state. Plus, they’re just so fun to drive!”
While Michigan has made crucial steps forward in the 2024 budget that will help advance MI EVs, more work will be required for MI to establish itself as a leading state, let alone a top 10 state in encouraging EV adoption.
The MI Clean Cars 2030 campaign is committed to making electric vehicles the optimum choice for Michiganders by 2030, achieving Governor Whitmer's goal of 2 million EVs and making EVs accessible to everyone--especially the most gasoline-burdened drivers. We must take Michigan's commitment to the next level for this to be possible.
The Ecology Center is a non-profit environmental advocacy organization established in 1970 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Ecology Center develops innovative solutions for healthy people and a healthy planet in four primary areas: Environmental Health, Climate Action and Clean Equitable Energy, Environmental Education, and Zero Waste. This work is accomplished through educating consumers to help keep their families healthy and safe, pushing corporations to use clean energy, make safe products, providing people with innovative services that promote healthy people and a healthy planet and working with policymakers to establish laws that protect communities and the environment. For more information visit www.ecocenter.org and follow @Ecology_Center.
MEVA is a grassroots organization, founded by Michiganders looking to better their community and the world. When we overlaid our diverse experiences in healthcare, automotive, and community organization, we found that electric vehicles can solve problems that Michigan faces While Michigan has made critical steps forward in the 2024 budget to help advance MI EVs, more work will be required to establish itself as a leading state, let alone a top 10 state in encouraging EV adoption. on many fronts.
Coltura’s mission is to improve climate, health and equity by accelerating the switch from gasoline and diesel to cleaner alternatives. Since 2015, Coltura has made a significant impact on gasoline policy and culture. Building and leading diverse coalitions, Coltura has been a driving force in gasoline reduction policies. Coltura’s groundbreaking research, data tools, polls, articles, reports, papers and law review articles have laid the foundation for innovative policies around the country.
The 2023 State Transportation Electrification Scorecard is the second edition from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) that evaluates states’ policies to encourage electric vehicle (EV) adoption. States are evaluated on over 40 metrics across five policy areas: EV and EV infrastructure planning, incentives, transportation system efficiency, electricity grid optimization, and transportation electrification outcomes. States are also evaluated on their efforts to incorporate equity and the actions of their regulated utilities.