electric vehicle

Michigan utility Consumers Energy is planning to install more than 800 charging stations as part of a $15m statewide electric vehicle infrastructure programme.According to Midwest Energy News, should Consumers Energy’s electric vehicle programme go ahead, it could make the utility a leader in the EV market in the Midwest. [Consumers Energy budgets $750m to complete AMI rollout]

The proposed programme forms part of a broader rate increase request under consideration by the Michigan Public Service Commission. Clean energy advocacy groups are said to be working with the utility to refine some of the plan’s details.

The EV plan would serve as benefitting the grid and climate goals.

Consumers Energy spokesperson, Brian Wheeler, said: “The charging station program that we propose would help residents be more comfortable with purchasing an electric vehicle and promote Michigan as a leader in renewable transportation.”

Electric vehicle charging

To support the anticipated increase in electric vehicles, Consumers Energy plans to install 60 direct current fast-charge stations and 750 alternating current stations across the state. [Consumers Energy extends EnerNOC deal]

The fast charging stations will allow driver to recharge up to 80% of their battery in about 20 minutes and will be strategically located along major highways at approximately 50-mile intervals, “creating connected thoroughfares across the Lower Peninsula,” adds Midwest Energy News.

Each charging station, approximately 30 in total, will have two chargers and would be installed over a period of two to three years.

Wheeler added: “Installation of the 240V AC chargers will begin in higher-populated metropolitan areas and expand to smaller cities. The intent is that charging stations would be metered and the energy would be paid for by the station host business owner.”

He noted that the lack of public charging stations nationwide “presents a clear problem for increases in EV sales. Continued adoption of EVs can help boost our automotive state and the economy of Michigan as a whole.”

Currently, there is only one public charger available for every 10 EVs on the road.

Apart from the network of public charging stations, Consumers Energy also plans to provide its electric customers who purchase an electric vehicle with a $1,000 reimbursement incentive toward the installation of a 240-volt home-charging station.