Advance Notice: Briefs

Lawmakers plug electric vehicle plan

By: - June 26, 2019 1:49 pm

A bipartisan package of bills in the state House and Senate would create a network of electric car charging ports and support the electric vehicle industry in Michigan, according to bill sponsors and supportive conservation groups.

The legislation would form a new Electric Vehicle Council to create a statewide electric vehicle charging network. The plan also would allow state parks and harbors to install or lease space for charging ports and offer tax incentives to businesses that install charging stations.

The package includes House Bills 4786, 4787, 4788, 4789, and Senate Bills 407-408, which are not yet online.

“Michigan built the American automotive industry, but it’s an industry that’s changing more rapidly now than any other time before. No other state has the history, talent and capability to design and build the next generation of electric vehicles, but we need to have the infrastructure in place to support that development,” said state Sen. Mallory McMorrow (D-Royal Oak) in a statement.

Reps. Julie Alexander (R-Jackson); Joe Bellino (R-Monroe); David LaGrand (D-Grand Rapids); Yousef Rabhi (D-Ann Arbor); Tim Sneller (D-Burton); and Sens. Erika Geiss (D-Taylor) and Kim LaSata (R-Bainbridge) also are bill sponsors.

Julie Alexander

MICHauto, an economic development initiative from the Detroit Regional Chamber, supports the legislation, along with the Ecology Center, the Michigan Environmental Council (MEC) and the Michigan League of Conservation Voters.

“Michigan’s rich automotive history makes our state well-suited to be a leading force behind the transition to clean, electric vehicles,” said Nick Occhipinti, government affairs director for the Michigan League of Conservation Voters. “We can chart a path toward a cleaner transportation sector and more accessible charging for all drivers. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle and in both chambers of the Legislature are taking a proactive approach to expanding access for EVs in Michigan.” 

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Michael Gerstein
Michael Gerstein

Michael Gerstein is a former Advance reporter covering the Governor's office, criminal justice and the environment.