Published in Energy

Four electric vehicle fast-charging stations now operating under utility rebate program

BY Friday, July 31, 2020 02:03pm

Four electric vehicle fast-charging stations are now operating along major highway corridors in the Lower Peninsula as part of the state’s and major utilities’ efforts to build supportive infrastructure allowing for EV growth.

Consumers Energy announced today that fast-charging stations — which help alleviate range anxiety for EV drivers making long trips — have opened at convenience stores in Big Rapids, Cadillac and Marshall, as well as on city property in Gaylord. The charging stations are along US-131, I-94 and I-75, respectively, and were built with help from the utility’s EV rebate program.

“Consumers Energy is excited to build the backbone of the state’s infrastructure for carbon-free vehicles,” Brian Rich, Consumers’ senior vice president for customer experience, said in a statement. “We are serving the public’s interest in electric vehicles, not just with these fast charging stations, but with over 400 rebates that our PowerMIDrive program has approved for homes and public locations across Michigan.”

Consumers Energy expects up to 30 more fast-charging stations to be operating by early next year in cities including Flint, Kalamazoo, Jackson and Kalkaska.

The Jackson-based utility’s $10 million PowerMIDrive program offers rebates for installing electric vehicle charging stations: $500 for 240-volt residential chargers in homes and up to $5,000 for publicly available level 2 chargers. Rebates up to $70,000 were available for commercial customers installing fast-charging stations. 

Consumers Energy is still accepting rebates for residential and level 2 chargers. Detroit-based DTE Energy has a similar $13 million rebate program. Both were approved by the Michigan Public Service Commission.

Charging infrastructure, including publicly available stations along key corridors that give drivers assurance of traveling long distances, is critical for meeting the anticipated growth in electric vehicle sales. Fast-charging stations are meant to mimic the experience of stopping at a convenience store and filling up with gasoline.

Planning the build-out of EV infrastructure has been a joint effort between state agencies, lawmakers, university researchers and utilities. Last year, the state mapped an optimal network for fast-charging stations to meet anticipated demand by 2030.

The four stations announced today are located at:

  • Johnny’s Markets, 21445 Perry Ave., Big Rapids
  • Johnny’s Markets, 15423 N. Old U.S. 127, Marshall
  • J&H Family Stores, 2560 E. Division St., Cadillac
  • City of Gaylord, 201 S. Court Ave.
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