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Whitmer launches initiatives to advance EV infrastructure, workforce landscape

Just as Michigan put the world on wheels, the state is once again where the future is being built, and is helping tourism along the way.
Arizona ranks relatively high among states when it comes to the rate of electric vehicle...
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced two new initiatives to continue developing Michigan’s electric vehicle (EV) and mobility landscape.(U.S. Department of Energy)
Published: Sep. 22, 2021 at 12:16 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Wednesday while speaking at the Mackinac Policy Conference, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced two new initiatives to continue developing Michigan’s electric vehicle (EV) and mobility landscape by building out vital charging infrastructure throughout the state and ensuring a strong pipeline of talent necessary for automotive mobility and electrification career pathways.

The Lake Michigan EV Circuit and the Michigan Revolution for the Electrification of Vehicles (MiREV) build on Tuesday’s launch of Gov. Whitmer’s MI New Economy plan those centers on growing the middle class, supporting small businesses, and investing in our communities.

“I am laser-focused on growing our economy, creating good-paying jobs, and building the future of mobility and electrification right here in Michigan,” said Gov. Whitmer. “Today’s announcements build on our rich Pure Michigan tradition of exploration and bring together communities and small businesses to ensure that we honor our past as the place that put the world on wheels and continue to invest in our workforce as we lead the transition to electric vehicles.”

The Lake Michigan EV Circuit: Expanding Michigan’s EV Infrastructure

The charging sites along the circuit will include either DC fast charging or level 2 chargers - depending on the electrical infrastructure at that host site. Funding to install the charging infrastructure will be provided through the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) “Charge Up MI” program with $1.25 million initially available and eligibility limited to site hosts that meet the geographical and user-experience designs of the route.

“Michigan put the world on wheels. Now we are making those wheels more sustainable, less polluting, and part of the push to decarbonize Michigan’s economy by 2050 through the state’s  Mi Healthy Climate Plan,” said Liesl Clark, EGLE Director. “Building muscle onto Michigan’s EV charging infrastructure is a cornerstone of moving away from climate pollution.”

EGLE will work with the Michigan Department of Transportation on the initiative.

“The Lake Michigan EV Circuit fits nicely with MDOT’s goal of enhancing connectivity,” said MDOT Director Paul C. Ajegba. “I am very pleased we can work with our partners in government and the private sector and help fund an initiative that supports our state’s major job providers and our shared goal to reduce emissions that harm the planet.”

Michigan’s tourism industry contributes more than $26 billion to the state’s economy, supporting more than 350,000 jobs. The industry was one of the hardest hit by the impacts of COVID-19.

The Lake Michigan EV Circuit builds on the ongoing success of the state’s Pure Michigan campaign to help the industry recover by offering an exciting ecotourism attraction and reducing range anxiety for out-of-state visitors from populated areas along Lake Michigan, such as Chicago and Milwaukee.

Michigan is still the center of high-tech electric vehicle production in the U.S.

Over 15,000 mobility and automotive manufacturing jobs have been created since 2019 with many supporting increased electric vehicle manufacturing in Michigan.

Last week, Ford announced a new $250 million investment with 450 direct jobs across three southeast Michigan facilities: Rouge Electric Vehicle Center, Rawsonville Components Plant, and Van Dyke Electric Powertrain Center that will support F-150 Lightning production capacity increase.

GM has its first assembly plant fully dedicated to electric vehicles in Hamtramck, with a commitment of 2,200 jobs.

Just as Michigan put the world on wheels, the state is once again where the future is being built with the MI New Economy plan as its foundation. The state aiming to be the epicenter of high-tech electric vehicle production in the U.S. as well as the premier location for young companies to start, scale, commercialize and grow technologies redefining the movement of people and goods.

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