New Michigan program puts millions into electric vehicle-charging stations

click to enlarge A car being charged at one of the 18 electric vehicle chargers in Ann Arbor. - SUSAN MONTGOMERY / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
Susan Montgomery / Shutterstock.com
A car being charged at one of the 18 electric vehicle chargers in Ann Arbor.

A new $3 million program will help Michigan businesses switch their fleets to electric vehicles.

The "PowerMIFleet" program from Consumers Energy will offer rebates of up to $50,000 each to companies that install EV charging stations. Brian Wheeler, Consumers Energy's media-relations manager, said any size operation can take part.

"It could be just a business that has one vehicle, a delivery van, or it could be a school district," he said. "It could be a local government, or it could be a business that might have dozens of vehicles."

As of last year, the International Energy Agency has estimated, nearly 1.8 million Americans owned electric vehicles, three times the number just four years earlier. Ford Motor Co. has announced it expects 40% of its business to be electric vehicles by 2030.

Wheeler noted that Michigan's program builds on an existing initiative, "PowerMIDrive," which has offered more than 800 rebates on EV chargers to homes, businesses and public locations over the past few years.

"And so, what that's doing is really building the backbone for the electric-vehicle industry in our state," he said. "When people go to make those decisions to buy vehicles, they know the charging infrastructure is in place."

Michigan has two dozen public, fast-charging EV locations across the state, so drivers on long trips can stop and power up their battery in about half an hour.

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