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Transportation & Infrastructure

Whitmer announces plan for EV charging stations in tourist destinations, rural towns along Lake Michigan

Close-up of electric vehicle charging station
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An electric vehicle charging station

Governor Gretchen Whitmer says a circuit of EV charging stations surrounding Lake Michigan would help draw eco-travelers and cement its status as a home for electric vehicle and component manufacturing.

She announced the plan at the Detroit Regional Chamber Mackinac Conference, where she’s also unveiled other proposals to make Michigan more EV-friendly. Earlier this week, she announced a pilot project to help create roads that will wirelessly charge EVs.

“It’s time to put the world on notice that Michigan remains the center of high-tech electric vehicle production in the US,” she said on the porch of the Grand Hotel with clip-clop of horse-drawn carriages in the background.

The goal, she said, is to quickly add stations in tourist hotspots and rural areas.

Whitmer said she also wants the charging network to span other Great Lakes states.

The Democratic governor has set a goal of 60 percent of Michigan’s workforce holding some type of degree or certification by 2030. She said creating an “electric vehicle jobs academy” would help meet that target.

Jeff Donofrio of Business Leaders for Michigan said that’s a critical element:

“So how we make sure that these workers, that these facilities, that these companies are able to make the transition because we know that in 10 years our auto companies are talking about 30 to 40 percent of their new vehicle sales being electrified.”

The Department of Labor and Economic Development has issued a bid request with a deadline of November 8.