Electric Vehicles a Focus of the Michigan Climate and Energy Summit

The Michigan Climate and Energy Summit comes to a close Thursday, with a wide variety of climate issues on the agenda for the last day of the virtual event.

One of those issues is the increasing demand for electric vehicles. The Michigan Public Service Commission says that utility companies like DTE and Consumers Energy are both running pilot programs for the funding and placement of electric vehicle charging stations.

The utilities may play as big a role – if not bigger than – private companies, when it comes to bringing charging stations to local communities. The MPSC and the utilities are looking at residential and commercial use for those charging stations, and how utilities can help with access and distribution in the communities that need it the most.

Tremaine Phillips with the Michigan Public Service Commission says, “The more we speak with EV charging operators we know that their business model sometimes cannot afford for them to place chargers in areas that have low penetration; or may be lagging in the uptake of electric vehicles. It may be beneficial to have utilities step in to provide the opportunity to either incentivize the deployment of chargers in those locations through rebates, or maybe on the end of the spectrum, where they’re actually managing and owning the chargers themselves.”

Phillips says the Michigan public service commission also has an agreement with UP-CO – The Upper Peninsula Power Company, which will also pursue an E-V pilot program.