Michigan Matters: The Mobility Revolution Envelops the Region

Southfield (CBS Detroit) – From electric vehicles to electric urban aircraft and drones, the conversation on CBS 62’s “Michigan Matters” revolved around the mobility revolution as Mujeeb Ijaz, Founder/CEO of Our Next Energy Inc., Trevor Pawl, Chief Mobility Officer of the State of Michigan, Brett Adcock, Co-Founder & Co-CEO of  Archer Aviation, and Glenn Stevens Jr., Executive Director of MICHauto and Vice President of Mobility for the Detroit Regional Chamber, appear to talk about latest developments.

Ijaz talked with Carol Cain, Senior Producer/Host as he discussed details of his headline gaining 752-mile drive of a Tesla S retrofitted using his innovative Genesis battery going the distance on one charge on Dec. 17. He traveled across Michigan and went an average of 55 miles per hour. That is more than double the distance most EVs get on one charge.

Pawl talked about dramatic and swift changes taking place in mobility – both on roads and also the skies as he talked about drones. The state and Canada will soon test drones to transport medical supplies and other things across the border.

Pawl also talked about wireless roads in Michigan, which Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced last fall.

Adcock talked about Archer Aviation’s eVTOL – an electric aircraft — which made its first hover flight on December 16. The two-seater was unveiled in June and the company hopes it will offer a solution for travel in congested downtowns. Archer just signed an  OEM contract with Auburn Hills-based Stellantis, and Adcock talked about it too.

Stevens talked about the need for more EV Charging stations in Michigan and also the right talent – something that was an issue before the pandemic and grew more pronounced. He talks about how MICHauto would be focusing on helping ease the jobs crunch in 2022.

This article was originally published on CBS 62’s Michigan Matters. View the original story. 

North American International Auto Show Announces 2022 Dates

The North American International Auto Show on Tuesday said the 2022 show will take place Sept. 14-25 in downtown Detroit.

Rod Alberts, executive director of the Detroit Auto Dealers Association and the NAIAS, confirmed the dates during the 2022 North American Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle of the Year awards presentation. Media/tech days will take place Sept. 14-15, the Charity Preview is scheduled for Sept. 16 and public days will run Sept. 17-25.

The Detroit Regional Chamber and MICHauto are proud to support the NAIAS. In 2019 Chamber President and Chief Executive Officer Sandy K. Baruah discussed in a letter why the event was so important to the region:

“NAIAS is as synonymous to the Motor City as Lafayette or American Coney Island. The auto show is the epitome of Detroit and Michigan’s automobility leadership and innovative spirit. From the cool car unveils to catching a glimpse of tomorrow’s technology rapidly being developed and deployed in Michigan, no other event captures the excitement and transformation taking place in the industry.

One of the most influential global automotive events, NAIAS touches all facets of the industry and attracts the largest concentration of the world’s top industry leaders – from automakers and suppliers, to tech startups and venture capitalists, to universities and policymakers. Last year alone, more than 809,161 people attended the show over its two-week run. The economic impact to our city and region: an estimated $480 million.”

Alberts said that the show would take place in Detroit’s Huntington Place convention center and around downtown Detroit with indoor and outdoor interactive displays. The city has been without one of its signature events since January 2019.

Keep up to date with the latest news from The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS).

North American Car, Truck, and SUV of the Year: Civic, Maverick, Bronco

Detroit — The envelope, please. . . .

Ford dominated the North American Car, Truck, and SUV of the Year awards Tuesday. The wildly-popular Bronco won SUV as expected while the Maverick overcame formidable competition from the electric Rivian R1T and Hyundai Santa Fe to win best truck.

The Honda Civic rounded out the awards as best car, defeating the battery-powered Lucid Air and Volkswagen Golf GTI/Golf R hot hatch.

The winners were announced at Huntington Place (the former Cobo Center) in Detroit. Rod Alberts of the North American International Auto Show introduced the awards that once coincided with the Detroit Auto Show. After a three-year hiatus, Alberts confirmed the show will return this fall, Sept. 14-25, at Huntington Place.

The six NACTOY finalists were whittled from an initial list of 36 eligible cars, trucks and utility vehicles for the 2022 model year. The finalists tracked trends in the industry as consumers have moved from cars to SUVs and embraced the off-road lifestyle. Following the success of electric automaker Tesla — and under pressure from the most onerous federal regulations in 60 years — manufacturers are also flooding the market with new EVs.

“2021 has been a highly significant year in automotive history,” said NACTOY President Gary Witzenburg. “We have seen the emergence of new vehicle segments and impressive redesigns of familiar models. Meanwhile, a number of all-new, EV start-up manufacturers are proving they are capable of competing with established automakers even with their first product offerings.”

Sedans have fallen out of favor in the American market with Detroit brands like Ford and Dodge exiting the sedan market completely. But cars are still key volume segments for foreign makers and icons like the Civic and and Golf boast near luxury-grade electronics tech to go with their whip-quick handling. Startup makers like Lucid see opportunities to establish themselves in the EV market with beautiful, halo sedans.

“The new Civic shows Honda at its very best. Bulletproof, brilliantly engineered and fun-to-drive, the Civic is the kind of affordable car that every automaker should aspire to,” said juror Lawrence Ulrich.

The Maverick took the truck crown over the Hyundai Santa Cruz and Rivian R1T in a category traditionally dominated by Detroit Three big pickups. But 202 was a year for innovation with the Maverick and Santa Cruz introducing segment-busting truck based — not on ladder frames — but on unibody SUV platforms. The daring Rivian R1T pickup is the first in a wave of electric pickups coming to market, beating EVs from established makers like Ford and Chevy.

Amazon and Stellantis Partner to Deploy Smarter Cars, Cleaner Vans

Jan. 5 (Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc and Stellantis NV (STLA.MI) said Wednesday they will collaborate to develop cars and trucks with Amazon software in the dashboards, and deploy electric vans made by Stellantis on Amazon’s delivery network.

The agreements expand Amazon’s efforts to get a bigger foothold in the transportation industry and could help Stellantis close the gap with Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) in developing vehicles with sophisticated, software-powered infotainment features that are connected to the data processing cloud.

Stellantis shares were up more than 3% in Milan.

The agreements between Stellantis and Amazon, the online retailer and cloud computing power, announced in conjunction with the CES technology conference, are wide ranging, involving software and hardware.

Amazon and Stellantis said they will work together to develop software for the “digital cockpit” infotainment systems of Stellantis vehicles that will start launching in 2024. Stellantis said it will use Amazon’s Alexa technology for voice-controlled features, “navigation, vehicle maintenance, e-commerce marketplaces, and payment services.”

Big e-commerce delivery fleet operators such as Amazon will be key to determining winners and losers as established automakers compete with startups to electrify the world’s package delivery system.

Stellantis Chief Software Officer Yves Bonnefont said during a conference call Wednesday that the automaker’s use of Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Android software for vehicles will “evolve over time.”

Amazon will also help Stellantis speed up the development of new digital products and “upskill Stellantis’ global workforce.” Stellantis and other established automakers are scrambling to match Tesla’s ability to rapidly deploy new vehicle features and revenue-generating subscription services using software delivered over the air.

As part of the partnership, Stellantis will use Amazon as its “preferred cloud provider” to provide the mobile network and computing power future vehicles will need.

Under what Stellantis said is a separate agreement, Amazon will be the first customer for Stellantis’ new line of electric delivery vans due to launch in 2023. The companies said they plan to put thousands of Stellantis Ram ProMaster electric vans on the road every year.

Amazon has a previous agreement to buy up to 100,000 electric vans from startup Rivian Automotive.

Stellantis in May had agreed with iPhone assembler Foxconn (2317.TW) to create a joint venture to supply in-car and connected-car technologies across the auto industry.

This article was originally published on Reuters. Read the original article.

Listen: MICHauto Board Chair Lisa Lunsford on MEDC Podcast

Lisa Lunsford, co-founder and chief executive officer of GS3 Global, and Chair of the MICHauto board, was on the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s The Michigan Opportunity Podcast hosted by Ed Clemente. They discussed the automotive industry and Lunsford’s involvement with MICHauto and the Detroit Regional Chamber. Listen to the podcast.

The Michigan Opportunity podcast serves as a forward-thinking voice for Michigan as a conduit to global trends and applications in the new global economy.

MICHauto’s Executive Director, Glenn Stevens Jr., Appointed to American Center for Mobility Board of Directors

Ypsilanti, Mich. January 10, 2022 – The American Center for Mobility (ACM) announces new Board of Director appointment to Glenn Stevens, Executive Director of MICHauto and Detroit Regional Chamber’s vice president of automotive and mobility initiatives.

“Glenn’s contribution to the ACM Board of Directors is critically aligned with the importance of driving a recognizable impact in maintaining the State of Michigan’s position as the epicenter of the automotive and growing technology-driven mobility industries.”, says Don Remboski, Chair of the ACM Board of Directors. “With over 25 years of experience in the Michigan automotive industry, the Board is confident that Glenn’s insights will help inform the organization and ensure we continue to build on our early successes in keeping ACM on track with its mission to support and accelerate the mobility industry in the areas of technology, standards development and education.”

Stevens joins a lineup of state, industry and academic leaders aimed at keeping the ACM organization focused on delivering value and results. This brings the number of board members to nine. ACM’s current Board community includes Don Remboski (Chair) Co-Founder Aware Mobility, Quentin Messer – CEO of the MEDC, Trevor Pawl – Chief Mobility Officer of the State of Michigan’s Office of Future Mobility & Electrification, Patricia Readinger – Director of Federal Affairs for the State of Michigan Office of the Governor, Paul Krutko (Treasurer) – CEO at Ann Arbor SPARK, Dr. Rebecca Cunningham – Vice President for Research at the University of Michigan, John Verboncoeur – Associate Dean for Research & Graduate Studies at Michigan State University, and Huei Peng – Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan and Director of MCity.

Stevens has been involved with ACM from the early days of conception and has continued to be a leading advocate for the important role ACM plays in the industry and in Michigan, “Joining the ACM Board of Directors is a strategic step to ensure inter-industry alignment as the automotive industry evolves in coordination with our key mobility sectors such as communications, technology development, data management and cybersecurity.” Stevens adds, “I believe that I will be able to help support the board as we steer the organization and the state to continued success and am grateful and honored to be accepted as a member.”

In his role with MICHauto, Stevens provides strategic direction and leadership to the MICHauto program in its efforts to promote, grow and retain Michigan’s automotive and next-generation mobility industries. MICHauto is a statewide industry association focused on developing the state’s automotive and mobility industry in the key areas of talent and education, advocacy, industry awareness, mobility, and the startup ecosystem.

About American Center for Mobility

American Center for Mobility is a not-for-profit collaborative effort comprised of government, industry and academic organizations focused on accelerating the mobility industry through advanced and scientific research, testing, standards, and educational programs. The American Center for Mobility offers a smart mobility test center and an innovation & technology campus, together they provide a safe platform for the integration of emerging mobility technologies in intentionally challenging environments and a growing ecosystem of leading CAEV mobility companies. Located in Southeast Michigan in Ypsilanti Township on over 500-acres at the historic Willow Run site, ACM is building on a legacy of innovation in Washtenaw County’s New Mobility Opportunity Zone. For more information, visit acmwillowrun.org.

View the original article.

Emerging Automotive Professional: Ford’s Laura Saneholtz

Connect with Laura on LinkedIn.

Getting Into Automotive 

What inspired you to go into the automotive and mobility field?  

My senior year I attended a Ford Motor Company information session before a career fair to learn more about the company as well as opportunities available for students after graduation. The presenter that year had an aerospace degree from Ohio State University, and I learned about how aerodynamics is used in the automotive world. From there I spoke with the recruiter and ended up getting an on-campus interview.

Did you grow up with family members in the automotive industry?  

I did not. I grew up in Richmond, Virginia. Pretty far from the world of the Big 3, here in Southeast Michigan.

What interests led you to consider a career in automotive?  

A big thing that I was looking for in a career was a focus on hands-on work. As I went through the interview process at Ford, I was able to talk with engineers working in the aerodynamics department. Those engineers described their work to me and not only was there an opportunity for hands on work, but there was room to be creative and come up with new ideas to solve problems. These two things really sold me on coming to Ford.

When were you first exposed to automotive?  

My first exposure was not until my senior year of college at a career fair.

Growing up, what was your impression of the automotive industry? How would you have described the industry?  

I think my impression of the auto industry growing up was very limited. Before I was directly involved in the auto industry, I pictured what we learned in grade school, which basically talked about the industrial revolution and the assembly line and that is about it. Therefore, when I would think about the auto industry, I pictured a big manufacturing facility.

What college did you attend, what was your major, and why did you choose that path?  

I attended Ohio State University from 2011 to 2016, receiving my bachelor’s in aeronautical and astronautical engineering and a minor in general business. When I started college, I knew I wanted to go down the engineering path, but I was undecided on which discipline. Ohio State was great during the first-year engineering program, giving students exposure to different fields and offering many information sessions and contacts for undecided students to discuss their interests before deciding on which major to pick. Through this process, I found that aerospace engineering excited me the most, which was important to me, and that’s what I went with.

Do you have additional degrees, training, or education? (i.e., graduate degree, MBA, etc.)   

In the winter of 2018, I started taking classes at the University of Michigan – Dearborn toward my master’s degree in Engineering Management. I knew I wanted to stay in the industry, so I decided it was important to gain more understanding of the business side to round out my education. I completed my master’s in Engineering Management in December 2020.

Automotive Career: Then and Now 

What opportunities did you have in college that allowed you to explore or start your career in automotive, including any co-ops or internships?  

I was fortunate enough to have four internships in college at three different companies. Through this process I think I learned more about what I did not want to do, which in my opinion is just as important as finding what you do want to do.

In the spring of 2013, I worked at NASA JSC in robotics, which I really liked because it has a lot of hands-on work, but I found that government work really was not for me because it moved so slowly.

Then in the summer of 2013, I worked at Rolls-Royce in manufacturing on the quality of helicopter engines to ensure each engine meets customer specifications. While I learned a lot about helicopter engines and test procedures, I found myself not very interested in manufacturing.

During the summer of 2014 and summer of 2015, I worked at Pratt and Whitney focusing on bearings and thermal management. While I did enjoy working on the design of new jet engine products, I found that this job had very little room for creativity and hands-on work, two things that were a high priority for me.

What was your first job post-college? Please share any lessons learned.   

My first job post-college was at Ford as a Ford College Graduate (FCG), where I was able to do four rotations within Ford. This two-year program allowed me to not only gain experience in the auto industry that was completely new to me, but it also taught me how to work with many different types of people from engineers to finance to the creative teams in the studio. After this rotational program was complete, I came back to aerodynamics and have been there ever since.

How did you transition from your first job to where you are now? What roles did you hold along the way? What projects or opportunities were critical in this process? 

The most impactful role I had in my ‘first job’ as an FCG was when I was able to work in the studio on the Ford Bronco. This job exposed me to the creative side of the automotive world, which is extremely different than the engineering side. This job taught me how to communicate effectively and how to tailor discussions to those involved to include or exclude details to ensure understanding and create meaningful discussions.

What is your role now?  

I am an Aerodynamics Engineer. As a program engineer, my two main programs are the Ford Mach E and the Lincoln Navigator. I also have also recently done work on the Lincoln Nautilus and the China Lincoln Zephyr.

Describe a typical day.  

My main goal every day is to reduce drag on my programs. To do this I conduct testing in the wind tunnel on full-scale clay models of the vehicle surface as it is developed by the studio and other engineers. We then take this data and combine it with computer simulations of the same surface to confirm surface improvements for drag reduction.

After these improvements are tested and verified, we take them to the studio and other engineers to discuss and work toward implementation. That being said, my typical day is always changing. I could be spending the entire day in the tunnel testing, I could be at home deep-diving data and creating proposals, or I could be working through feasibility issues with other engineers in support of implanting proposals in a cost-effective way.

Where do you see yourself in five years?  

In five years, I see myself staying in the automotive industry. However, my goal is currently to move up into management. To do that I want to gain more experience in my department of vehicle energy management. Aerodynamics is an important part of how much energy a car needs to meet customer expectations but so is weight, thermal cooling, fuel economy, and more.  As such, to achieve that goal of moving into management, I see myself moving into one or more of these other groups to gain a better understanding of the entirety of energy management in our vehicles.

Advice for Young Students 

Knowing what you know now, if you could give your younger self one tip or piece of advice, what would it be?  

Make sure you have fun and don’t be so hard on yourself. I was always a very stressed-out kid, everything seemed to be the end of the world if it didn’t go my way. Looking back now, I realized that the pressure I put on myself was not worth it. Sure, you need to work hard to achieve your goals, but life is not always going to go your way. So, take things as they come and try to enjoy the ride.

Not sure if my younger self would have listened to this, but I wish she would have.

What advice do you have for high school students who are interested in automotive, but unsure if it’s the career for them?

Seek out opportunities for exposure into the field early and often. Many students enter college with very little idea of what they want to do and if they do have some idea, many don’t have a clear view of what that may actually look like. There are so many programs, groups, and professionals out there willing to talk to students about their job or field. By seeking out these types of opportunities, students can better understand not only what they are interested in but they can picture what it is they are working toward, which can sometimes get washed out in the stress of high school and early college.

What was the best piece of advice you were ever given?  

That it is okay to say no. I feel like so many times people tell you, “Say yes to everything and you will find out what you love,” but that is not really feasible. If you say yes to everything you will end up selling yourself short in everything. Give yourself a chance to succeed by focusing on those projects or groups that you are passionate about. And then if you find out it’s not what you thought, it’s okay to say, “Nope, not for me” and try something else. I wish I learned this earlier in life. I spread myself so thin in high school and early college that I forgot what I was doing it all for and I forgot to stop and enjoy it.

What do you love about working in the automotive industry (and specifically the automotive industry in Michigan)? 

I love the people. Every day I get to work with people who are passionate about our products and do their best to reach and exceed the expectations of our customers. Working with these types of people is inspiring and it pushes me to do my best every day and learn to be better.

Do you participate in any organizations outside of work? Or have any hobbies (unrelated to automotive)? Do you feel the work-life balance in the auto industry allows you to continue these passions?  

The biggest group I participate in outside of work is with FIRST Robotics. In high school, I participated in FIRST as a student and it showed me that being an engineer was the right path for me. Since I started at Ford I have been volunteering at various competitions in Southeast Michigan and have become a member of the Ford FIRST Board, which works to sponsor over 90 high school teams.

My experience with Ford has been that I have had no issues participating in any sort of volunteer event that I am passionate about both during and outside of work hours.

Novi battery maker sends Tesla S to the U.P. and back on one charge

Detroit Free Press
Jan. 5, 2022
Carol Cain 

The race to alleviate range anxiety among electric vehicle owners got a potential boost thanks to a Michigan battery maker that used its cutting edge technology to power a 2021 Tesla Model S 752 miles across the Great Lakes state on a single charge.

That real world test drive of Our Next Energy’s (ONE) Gemini battery took place Dec. 17, said Mujeeb Ijaz, founder and CEO of the Novi-based company.

The Tesla drove an average of 55 mph on the trek from ONE’s Novi headquarters to the Upper Peninsula and back. The results were validated by a third party using a vehicle dynamometer. Ijaz said he could not name the firm that validated the results due to ONE’s agreement with it but said it was a global company in metro Detroit that does EPA certification for automakers.

The retrofitted Tesla is currently parked in Las Vegas, where the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is being held. Ijaz plans to meet with investors there.

A 30-year veteran of auto companies (having worked at Ford and Apple), he left 18 months ago to join the ranks of entrepreneurs when he launched ONE.

He moved his headquarters from Silicon Valley to metro Detroit last year and already gained investments to the tune of millions from Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and BMW to name a few.

Finding a way to allow a vehicle to go 752 miles on a single charge represents the Holy Grail of EV’s future. Right now, the range for a single charge for most EVs on the road is roughly half that.

The global race now among battery makers is to create technology that will resolve the range anxiety issue drivers have and make EVs a practical vehicle for more consumers.

“This is very impressive,” said John McElroy, longtime host of Autoline and auto analyst at WWJ Newsradio 950, when asked about ONE’s test drive results. “It’s pretty good for a battery still under development. But, unless they do the EPA driving test, going 55 mph like others under same conditions, it’s hard to stack them up.”

I asked Ijaz why ONE didn’t do the EPA test and he explained, “When reviewing what Tesla did to originally certify range of the Model S, it took six days of testing in a special procedure. We did not have time to run that test and decided a 55 mph run would suffice as a proof that we did not game the real world road test.”

Glenn Stevens, executive director of MICHAuto, who has been involved with the industry for decades, said of ONE’s test drive results: “This is great news. We are seeing a revolution right now in EV battery technology and it’s great to see it taking place in Michigan.”

Stevens, who hails from Marquette, test drove a Ford Mach-E across Michigan last summer and said he opted against going to the U.P. as there were scant charging stations.

“As this revolution unfolds, it will be great to see who leads in this battery space as that really is the Holy Grail of convincing people to buy electric,” Stevens added.

I’ve talked to many in recent months — folks like actor William Shatner, auto icon Bob Lutz and students at Oakland University — about what it will take to encourage people to own EVs as part of a recent TV special for CBS 62 called “Our Electric Future.” It talked about EVs and highlighted concerns over range anxiety.

“To reach the full market potential for electric cars, we need to eliminate the barriers holding back the market,” Ijaz said. “We want an electric car to become an obvious choice as your only car needed. This demonstration marks the beginning of a new era making that possible.”

The solution to range issues currently focuses on adding more charging stations —something municipalities and companies in Michigan and elsewhere have been doing.

Ijaz said relying on charging stations, even fast charging ones, still presents challenges like waiting in lines and not recharging as fast as advertised. The solution is a battery with more firepower that will take a vehicle longer distances on a single charge.

ONE has created two EV batteries. The first, called Aries, uses a material called Lithium Iron Phosphate. Ten years ago, this technology could offer 150 miles of range for an electric vehicle. What Aries has done is improve upon that and offers 350 miles in the same vehicle without additional costs or safety, Ijaz said. The company has a contract with a commercial truck maker to provide it the Aries battery later this year.

His second battery, Gemini, uses a dual battery technology that works together as one chemistry, as one is designed to use everyday for 150 miles, then the other extends the range another 600 miles in extender architecture that uses no cobalt or nickel and can power an EV 750 miles on a single charge. Lithium Iron Phosphate is always powering the vehicle.

ONE plans to begin production of Aries later this year, with a goal of producing the Gemini prototype batteries in 2023, as it is still in the research phase.

Ijaz chose a Tesla for his test drive because, “it was easy to convert by having a large battery volume (over 400 liters of space), was readily available on the market, and a had a well engineered efficient electric drive and aerodynamic platform.”

He also explained why ONE decided to do its test drive in Michigan versus warmer states.

“We studied going south where the climate was not freezing but decided that ONE is proud to be a Michigan battery company and what better way to celebrate innovations born in Detroit than to make the destination for our range run the Upper Peninsula,” he said. “Also it’s a tribute to the clean air and water we seek to protect as we transition away from fossil fuels.”

View the original article.

Gov. Whitmer, MICHauto, and Industry Leaders Highlight Importance of Mobility for Michigan

Gov. Whitmer, MICHauto, and industry leaders highlighted the importance of the mobility industry, the future of electrification, and accomplishments in 2021.

“Michigan’s auto industry put the world on wheels and built the middle class,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “As we usher in a new era of prosperity for Michigan’s economy, we have to continue investing in the auto industry and ensuring that we lead the future of mobility and electrification. I am proud of the work we have done to create over 16,000 auto jobs, deploy innovative mobility technologies, and build thousands of electric vehicle chargers. I look forward to working with private sector partners and the legislature to put Michiganders first, create jobs, and lower costs for families.”

“Michigan is uniquely positioned to lead the electrified mobility revolution, and MICHauto applauds Governor Whitmer for working with the Legislature to find bipartisan solutions for transformational investments in the automotive industry,” said Glenn Stevens, Executive Director for MICHauto and Vice President of Automotive and Mobility initiatives Detroit Regional Chamber. “Investing in innovation and talent ensures Michigan’s ability to thrive in the knowledge-based economy, which is critical to our state’s long-term economic growth and competitiveness.”

Key Numbers

· Created over 16,000 auto jobs, including large investments from GM, Stellantis, and Ford.
· Facilitated the creation of hundreds of good-paying jobs to bring chip manufacturing back to Michigan to support electric vehicle growth in Ann Arbor and near Bay City.
· Led REV Midwest, a five-state compact for partnering to rollout regional charging infrastructure to drive electric vehicle adoption and industry growth.
· Invested more than $45 million through Charge Up Michigan to build up Michigan’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure network.
· Invested $17.5 million to transition buses and heavy-duty vehicles to clean fuels and electrification.    · Announced first-of-their-kind, innovative projects like the Smart Parking Lab which will help innovative businesses test parking-related mobility, logistics, and electric vehicle charging technologies.
· Proposed millions of dollars to develop and deploy electric vehicles and EV infrastructure, train our workforce for high-skilled mobility jobs, and fund economic development site preparedness.

“Michigan continues to take the necessary steps to ensure we stay ahead of the curve in the ever-changing mobility industry,” said Susan Corbin, Director of the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity and Chair of the Michigan Council on Future Mobility and Electrification. “The state made great strides throughout the year by launching several cutting-edge EV workforce, infrastructure, technology and economic development projects that will positively impact the lives of Michiganders for years to come. Through the continued coordination of state department resources and through key partnerships with industry stakeholders, Michigan remains positioned to be the world leader in the mobility sector.”

“General Motors has made Michigan home for more than a century, and we are committed to make the state a vital part of our future,” said General Motors. “The Factory ZERO EV assembly plant in Detroit is now producing 2022 GMC HUMMER EV Pickups for customers, less than two years after GM’s $2.2 billion investment to fully renovate that facility to build all-electric trucks and SUVs. That’s on top of other investments around the state including the all-new Wallace Battery Cell Innovation Center in Warren announced in October and more projects under consideration. General Motors’ legacy of innovation is rooted here in Michigan.”

“In 2021, Ford made significant investments in innovation in our home state, including the creation of Ford’s Ion Park battery research center in Romulus and an additional $250 million and 450 more jobs at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center,” said Ford. ”Next year will be even more exciting, with the all-electric version of America’s longtime No. 1 vehicle, the Ford F-150 Lightning, rolling out to customers across the country from Dearborn. We look forward to continuing our valued partnership with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to ensure that Michigan remains the mobility capital of the world.”

“For more than 40 years, Toyota R&D has operated in the State of Michigan to research design and develop innovative vehicles and products. Michigan is a leader in promoting the future of mobility in the region. From workforce-development programs to the recent creation of the Office of Future Mobility and Electrification, Michigan has proven itself as an important place to do business in this time of industry transformation,” said Shinichi Yasui, Executive Vice President of Toyota R&D, President of Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing, and Chief Technology Officer for Toyota. “Toyota R&D appreciates the strong support of the Office of the Governor, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, key state organizations, and local manufacturing associations. That support is why Michigan continues to be an integral part of Toyota R&D’s strategy to provide new mobility products and services that delight our customers.”

Car sales in Michigan expected to remain low in 2022

Fox 47 News
Jan. 3, 2022
Luisa Wiewgorra

Car sales in Michigan are expected to remain far lower than they were before the pandemic, and prices for the consumer will likely remain high as dealerships face supply chain issues.

“It has really pushed sales and production of vehicles down dramatically. The last two years and even again this year,” said Glenn Stevens, the executive director of MICHauto.

Annual U.S. car sales dropped from around 17 million vehicles pre-pandemic to 15.1 million vehicles in 2021. Even though they are predicted to increase to 15.5 million sales this year, Stevens predicts a tough year for the industry.

“Transaction prices for vehicles have climbed pretty dramatically over the past year, I believe the average transaction price for a vehicle now is $45,000, which is quite remarkable. So, it will impact the dealerships, and it certainly impacts the consumers,” he said.

Stevens said that the reasons are logistical issues with shipping containers, a shortage of magnesium, and supply chain problems.

“The supply chain issues, as it pertains to microchips or semiconductors, that has been the biggest issue that has impacted the industry,” Stevens said.

Those microchips are being used for a variety of consumer products like play stations, refrigerators, and vehicles.

“There have been tremendous cutbacks in production in Michigan alone with regards to trucks and SUVs and cars that are built in Michigan, because those components have not been available,” he said. “Therefore, car availability will not be as great as people would still like it to be.

Stevens pointed out that the dealership network is very strong, and he is optimistic that sales will go back up closer to 17 million in 2023 and 2024.

“The auto industry is the signature industry in Michigan. And it is one of the largest economic drivers of the industry and the economy here in Michigan… Over 1 million jobs in Michigan, which is about 20 percent of the workforce in Michigan, is directly tied to our auto industry,” he said.

As technology advances, there could be an opportunity for growth in the knowledge-based economy for jobs.

“We want to have more research, more technology, more testing and more innovation going on in Michigan. And that’s really going to depend on the talent us how the Michigan having the right talent for those knowledge-based economy jobs in the auto industry, the mobility industry in the tech industry,” Stevens said.

Electric vehicles are projected to make up 20 percent of the market by 2030 and hopes that the production of electric vehicles in Michigan increases as well, he said. As of right now, the Ford F-150 Lightning and the GMC Hummer are produced in Michigan. He further stated that some of the 12 assembly plants in Michigan will be electrified very soon.

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