Michigan to play large role in future of electric vehicles
LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - One of the biggest takeaways from the return of the Detroit Auto Show is that electric vehicle technology has come a long way in the last three years.
Michigan is on the forefront of transition to electric vehicles. The state produces everything from the battery to the vehicles themselves - and even the charging stations that power them.
Trevor Pawl is Michigan’s Chief Mobility Officer. He’s in charge of developing policies and supporting startups in the mobility ecosystem.
“We put the world on wheels and now have a chance to electrify it,” Pawl said. “The automotive industry is still our biggest industry within the state economy.”
It still brings money to Michigan. The Ultium battery that will power many General Motors vehicles will be made in Delta Township. The plant is expected to start battery production in two years.
Those batteries will power the electric Hummer and Silverado being built in Hamtramck. Meanwhile, Ford is building the F-150 lightning in Dearborn. Those large investments are creating thousands of new jobs.
“These are different types of jobs,” Pawl said. “You’re also seeing how electrification can change communities, fight climate change.”
Helping change communities is part of the reason Q Johnson started Plug Zen in Detroit, which is working on new charging technology - including being able to charge several vehicles at once and putting a charging system in the vehicle.
Johnson said it’s important having everything an electric vehicle would need to be made in Michigan.
“We have a diverse work force and we have the infrastructure here with the support and the supply chain,” Johnson said.
Michigan is already working on pushing electric vehicles even further. Pawl said the state is testing the next generation of charging technology.
“Michigan is the first place in North America to have a road that actually charges as it is in motion,” Pawl said.
The state plans to install 100,000 electric vehicle chargers across Michigan by 2030.
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