MichAuto > Blog > MichAuto News > Legislators propose first statewide electric vehicle charging network in the nation

Legislators propose first statewide electric vehicle charging network in the nation

June 26, 2019

June 26, 2019

Read the original article on Driven here.

LANSING — Sen. Mallory McMorrow (D-Royal Oak), along with legislators from the House and Senate, today announced a bipartisan package to support the growth of electric vehicles in Michigan and establish the first statewide charging network in the nation.

The four-bill package would:

  • Create the Electric Vehicle Council within the Michigan Department of Transportation. The council, comprised of experts in energy, technology, transportation, environment, economic development and other related fields, would be tasked with developing a plan for a statewide charging infrastructure in coordination with utilities and private companies;
  • Allow the state to install or lease space for electric vehicle charging stations at state park and rides;
  • Allow the state to install or lease space for electric charging stations in state parks, generating revenue for the park system; and,
  • Provide tax incentives for small businesses and multi-unit housing to install electric vehicle charging stations.

“Michigan built the American automotive industry, but it’s an industry that’s changing more rapidly now than any other time before. No other state has the history, talent and capability to design and build the next generation of electric vehicles, but we need to have the infrastructure in place to support that development,” Sen. McMorrow said. “These bills encourage our state to create a collaborative and coordinated plan, working with private companies, small businesses, utilities and various state departments to build out the state’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure, making Michigan the first fully networked state.”

MichAuto, an economic development initiative of the Detroit Regional Chamber, supports the legislation. “The industry is rapidly transforming; our automotive companies are integrating emerging technologies for all aspects of next-generation mobility. With a commitment to sustainability and solving global issues, Michigan’s signature industry and leaders are working together to lead the nation in bringing electric vehicles and the needed infrastructure to our state,” said Glenn Stevens, executive director of MichAuto and vice president of automotive and mobility initiatives for the Detroit Regional Chamber. “I applaud Senator McMorrow for her leadership and commitment to Michigan’s competitiveness.”

Eight state senators and representatives join Sen. McMorrow in introducing the bill package.

Rep. Julie Alexander (R-Jackson), sponsor of House Bill 4788, on charging stations and tourism: “This is an opportunity to give residents and visitors what they need as they explore our state. Installing charging stations at state parks will ensure people have the infrastructure they need to get from one point to the next, support local businesses and enjoy the natural beauty and recreation opportunities across our state park system.”

Rep. Joe Bellino (R-Monroe), sponsor of House Bill 4789, on the benefit to businesses: “This electric vehicle legislation would preserve good automotive jobs as the industry continues to shift, reduce taxes on businesses and encourage those who stop to charge vehicles to put dollars back into our local economies while they wait. This bill gets it done for Michigan residents and our state as a whole.”

Sen. Erika Geiss (D-Taylor), sponsor of Senate Bill 408, on establishing charging stations to ease travel for commuters:

“Allowing charging stations to be installed at park and rides along our state’s highways will give drivers confidence that they can reach their destination no matter where they travel within our beautiful state.”

Rep. David LaGrand (D-Grand Rapids), co-sponsor of the package on supporting the growth of electric vehicles:

“As a small business owner, I know that this package of bills would not only support our state’s changing automotive industry, but also infuse dollars into our economy overall as drivers stop in communities, state parks and downtowns to charge their vehicles. This is a smart step to support Michigan jobs as the automotive industry continues to evolve, protect our environment, give residents what they need and generate additional state revenue.”

Sen. Kim LaSata (R-Bainbridge Township), sponsor of Senate Bill 407, on adding charging stations in state parks:

“As electric vehicles become more prevalent, it will be important that we have the necessary infrastructure in place at our state parks to ensure both residents and visitors alike have the ability to charge their vehicles while they enjoy Michigan’s great outdoors. This bill is both good for the economy and the environment.”

Rep. Yousef Rabhi (D-Ann Arbor), sponsor of House Bill 4787, on the installation of charging stations at park and rides: “Our automotive industry is changing and, as automakers continue to develop cars with less impact on our environment, we must also do what we can to support the jobs workers and suppliers across the state depend on. Establishing a reliable charging station infrastructure at Michigan’s park and ride locations will mean more drivers can feel confident opting for electric vehicles and automotive companies can employ more workers to develop these next generation technologies.

Rep. Tim Sneller (D-Burton), sponsor of House Bill 4786, on automotive innovation and technology: “As Michiganders, we take pride in our state’s history as a leader in automotive innovation. Electric vehicles will be a critical aspect of our transportation future, and we should continue to lead by example by embracing its continued development. The Electric Vehicle Council will play a crucial role in developing a comprehensive charging infrastructure plan and ensuring our state is prepared to support this transformative technology.”