Advance Notice: Briefs

In Detroit, U.S. and Canadian officials tout first electric vehicle corridor    

By: - May 17, 2023 8:37 am

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday in Detroit. | Whitmer office photo

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday joined U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Canadian Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra, and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan to announce the first Binational Electric Vehicle (EV) Corridor between the U.S. and Canada. 

It will be an international stretch of 869 miles from Kalamazoo to Quebec City — a 13-hour route.  

“I am proud that we are working together to build up electric vehicle charging infrastructure,” said Whitmer during a news conference at the Detroit Wayne County Port Authority, located on the city’s riverfront. “With the resources headed our way from President [Joe] Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the bold investments Michigan automakers are making right here in Michigan, we will build and lead the future of mobility.” 

Buttigieg, the former South Bend, Ind., mayor who ran for president in 2020 and later moved to Traverse City in 2022, said the Biden administration has made “historic investments in EV infrastructure.”

“We are creating a new generation of good-paying manufacturing jobs, making it possible for drivers everywhere to reap the benefits and savings of these vehicles while helping us fight climate change,” Buttigieg said.  

Algbhabra said the corridor has both environmental and economic benefits.

“This first cross-border alternative fuel corridor will help drivers to travel across the border and charge or refuel worry-free,” Algbhabra said. “It contributes to bringing us another step closer to making our air cleaner while helping people save money on traditional fuels.” 

Duggan also praised the deal.

“This corridor will carry the flow of EV traffic, trade and manufacturing between the United States and Canada, through Detroit’s international crossing with Windsor,” said Duggan.

In 2021, Biden signed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that includes $7.5 billion in federal funding to create a national network of 500,000 public electric vehicle charging stations, of which Michigan was expected to receive at least $110 million. This initiative is aimed at making electric vehicle charging easier and facilitating the movement of passengers and goods through a key economic binational corridor for the sustainable future. 

In March,  Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) announced the launch of a new website to connect Michiganders to career opportunities in the expanding automotive mobility and electrification industry. 

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Ken Coleman
Ken Coleman

Ken Coleman writes about Southeast Michigan, history and civil rights. He is a former Michigan Chronicle senior editor and served as the American Black Journal segment host on Detroit Public Television. He has written and published four books on Black life in Detroit.