- Michigan has awarded $577,000 in grants through the Michigan Mobility Funding Platform to expand electric vehicle charging infrastructure, increase access to EVs and encourage greater adoption of EVs in the state.
- “Our grant dollars are an effort to help spur EV charging installations in communities that haven't really seen support to do so in the past,” said Charlie Tyson, technology activation manager at Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a partner in the Michigan Mobility Funding Platform.
- Six projects were awarded grants in this round of funding, announced Thursday, including a partnership of DTE Energy and Volta Charging to identify prime locations within underserved communities in Southeast Michigan for EV charging stations, Tyson said.
The $98,750 grant to Volta Charging will result in the installation of six AC Level 2 and two direct-current fast-charging stations at four different locations. Those locations would be selected using Volta’s artificial intelligence-based software to determine where EVs would displace more fossil-fueled vehicles within disadvantaged and environmental justice communities, explained Kevin Samy, head of policy and sustainability strategy at Volta.
In January, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer proposed an electric vehicle rebate of $2,000 for the purchase of a new EV and a $500 rebate to install home charging. When combined with the federal $7,500 rebate available for some EV purchases, Whitmer hopes to help more people make the shift to electric vehicles.
But Michigan’s interest goes beyond encouraging wider EV usage. “We see these grant dollars facilitating public-private partnerships as a way to attract emerging tech companies to the state,” said Tyson. Doing so will help create jobs in electric vehicle infrastructure, maintenance, operation and installation, he explained.
A publicly traded company, Volta reported $32 million in revenue last year, most of it derived from media and advertising displayed at their charging stations. These include charging stalls at more than 500 Walgreens locations in the U.S., along with Brookfield Properties, Tanger Outlets and other locations.
These digital ads are also used to educate consumers about the benefits of electric vehicles. Last year, Volta collaborated with Southern California Edison on a similar EV awareness campaign in underserved communities. According to Volta, the program created a 72% increase in interest in driving or owning an EV in these areas.
“We understand in Michigan the value of innovating in our current mobility ecosystems to support the needs of the future,” said Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II in a press release.