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State issues $1.7M in grants for electric vehicle fast-charging stations COURTESY PHOTO

State issues $1.7M in grants for electric vehicle fast-charging stations

BY Thursday, August 06, 2020 01:29pm

 The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy has awarded nearly $1.7 million to help public and private entities install 36 electric vehicle fast-charging stations across the state.

The grants come from Michigan’s share of the Volkswagen diesel emissions settlement that is funding broader efforts to lower the state’s transportation-sector emissions. Fast-charging EV stations, in particular, are planned to be built out across the state in a coordinated way that ensures EV drivers can travel farther distances.

Liesl Clark, director of EGLE, said the latest grant funding will help “facilitate EV adoption” and is a “significant step toward an electrified transportation future that will keep Michigan in the forefront of cutting-edge mobility and writes another chapter in the state’s storied history of innovation in the transportation industry.”

Grants of up to $70,000 will help offset charger costs for public and private entities, with additional help available from utility rebate programs. The 36 chargers funded will provide 76 charging points for cars and light-utility vehicles.

Meijer, Inc. received the largest share of state funding — $187,102 for eight chargers in Ann Arbor, Muskegon, Grand Rapids and East Lansing. Other recipients include Hage Automotive for nine stations in Elk Rapids, Grayling and Mackinaw City, and the city of Marshall for four stations.

“Michigan is known for building America’s cars, and this commitment to future mobility infrastructure continues to keep us at the forefront of needed automotive innovation,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement. “With partnerships like this between government and private industry, we will take actions that will have a positive and lasting environmental impact while improving transportation infrastructure.”

Grant funding helps cover the costs of the stations, including site preparation, installation and networking fees. Today’s announcement comes after Consumers Energy announced last week that four fast-charging stations were installed along major highway corridors, as MiBiz previously reported. Also last week, General Motors announced a partnership with charging company EVgo to deploy 2,700 fast-charging stations in 40 U.S. metropolitan areas. 

The Volkswagen settlement funds are helping states reduce transportation emissions by facilitating the purchase of clean vehicles and infrastructure like charging stations. Michigan received $64.8 million toward a beneficiary mitigation plan to boost clean vehicle adoption and reduce nitrogen oxide and diesel emissions from school buses. The state has awarded $4.2 million to cover 70 percent of the costs of buying 17 zero-emissions buses and charging stations at seven school districts.

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