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US state Michigan unveils EV Charging Infrastructure Package
US state Michigan has unveiled a new electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure package to increase access to EV charging for the public, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a US-based, nonprofit international environmental advocacy group, reported on 28 June. The package aims to create tax incentives for small businesses and multiunit housing to install EV charging stations and allow the state to install EV charging stations at state parks and state "park and ride" lots, either directly or by lease. The package calls for chargers to be available on state property, at the workplace, and in condominiums and apartments. The state would also create a council within the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) to facilitate expansion and management of Michigan's EV charging infrastructure.
Significance: Michigan is looking to make a quick transition from being an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle-dependent state to having a much higher share of EVs on the state roads. Michigan is one of the leading automotive manufacturing states in the United States and accounts for nearly 23% of all US auto production. Two of the top EV models, the Chevrolet Bolt and Nissan LEAF, are manufactured in Michigan. General Motors has recently announced that it is planning to manufacture a new Chevrolet brand EV at its plant in Michigan. GM will be investing USD300 million in the Michigan assembly plant and 400 new jobs will be added. Ford also has announced plans to invest USD850 million in its Flat Rock assembly plant in Michigan through 2023 to produce battery electric vehicles (BEVs). However, the state's contribution toward BEV production is only 0.34%. According to IHS Markit, out of the approximately 595,000 EVs sold in the United States during 2018, only 2% were sold in Michigan. One of the reasons cited for the low confidence of the residents on EVs is the lack of charging infrastructure in the state, with just over 1,000 chargers operational. The new package will help change this scenario.
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