“Charging Forward” program will advance charging infrastructure in Michigan
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, May 2, 2019
Nick Dodge, Byrum & Fisk Communications, (517) 333-1606
Ivan Moreno, Natural Resources Defense Council, (312) 651-7932, [email protected]
Larisa Manescu, Sierra Club, (202) 675-2392, [email protected]
LANSING – Charge Up Midwest, a coalition of electric vehicle experts and advocates, today applauded the Michigan Public Service Commission’s (MPSC) approval of DTE Energy’s Charging Forward program, Michigan’s second utility-led electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure program that will expand access to charging across the state. The program was part of DTE’s general rate case for which a decision was issued today.
“The Charging Forward program will help our state speed up the transition to the next generation of automobiles, which are increasingly electric, connected, automated and shared,” said Charles Griffith, climate and energy program director at the Ecology Center. “This program will boost build out of charging infrastructure, which is one of the most critical components of electric transportation in Michigan.”
The program will dedicate $13 million to ensuring Michigan residents have greater access to EV charging opportunities at their homes, workplaces and along highways. The program will also assist transit agencies, school districts and other fleet operators transition to electric vehicles, helping reduce pollution and promote better public health.
“As the world's auto capital, Michigan can and should lead the charge for electric vehicles," said Joe Halso, associate attorney with the Sierra Club. "The Commission's decision to approve added investment in Michigan's EV infrastructure is a step toward cleaner air, a smarter grid, and a stronger economy for all Michiganders."
Earlier this year, the MPSC approved a similar program by Consumers Energy. With both major Michigan utility companies initiating EV pilot programs, Michigan is well-positioned to lead the Midwest on EV charging infrastructure.
“With its history and talent pool, Michigan should be at the forefront of electric vehicle technology,” said Mark Nabong, senior attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “The charging pilot program approved today will help Michigan create a model for clean transportation adoption.”
The program will focus on consumer education and rebates to encourage participation. By encouraging users to charge their cars during “off-peak” times when electricity rates are lower, drivers will save money when charging their EVs at home. When EV users charge at night, all ratepayers stand to benefit from the increased efficiencies of supplying power when there is excess capacity on the grid.
“Today’s decision will benefit all Michigan utility customers by lowering their electricity costs because more charging will occur at night,” said Robert Kelter, Senior Attorney at the Midwest-based Environmental Law & Policy Center.
Charge Up Midwest is a partnership of environmental and clean energy organizations actively working to increase electric vehicle deployment throughout the region in Illinois, Missouri, Michigan, Minnesota, and Ohio. Visit www.ecocenter.org/charge-midwest to learn more.