Consumers Energy in Jackson, the state’s largest energy provider, plans to help 200 fast charging locations — and more than 2,000 chargers at homes and businesses — start powering EVs across Michigan.
Charging stations that allow emissions-free EVs to power up fairly quickly are in place in 24 locations reaching 250 miles north to south, the utility states.
Still, EVs have yet to catch on, and represent less than 2 percent of annual vehicle sales. Range anxiety, slow charging times, a lack of a national charging network, and a steep drop in resale values challenge the market. The batteries, once they reach their end life, also are difficult to recycle.
“Our country’s auto industry was born right here in Michigan. Consumers Energy is excited to charge the next generation of transportation in our home state and help Michigan lead the nation into a clean automotive future,” says Lauren Youngdahl Snyder, vice president of customer experience at Consumers Energy. “Fast charging means EV owners can power their vehicles wherever they travel across Michigan, and their options are growing by the day.”
Consumers Energy launched its PowerMIDrive program less than two years ago. Since then, it has provided more than 600 rebates for home, business, and public charging stations that make electric vehicle ownership convenient and affordable.
Those rebates include the 24 fast charging locations, which can fully power a vehicle’s battery in less than an hour. There were only four as recently as last summer, and another dozen should start operating in the next six months.
Also last month, a coalition of Midwest energy providers including Consumers Energy that committed to long-range EV charging expanded to 10 companies. Electric vehicle owners will have the fast-charging network to fully power the 1,300-mile drive from Mackinac City to the Colorado border.
“We know electric vehicles still make up a small number of cars on the road, but that’s changing quickly,” says Youngdahl Snyder. “EV sales are growing by over 20 percent each year as more people commit to a clean, affordable, automotive future, and Consumers Energy is building the infrastructure to make sure more electric vehicles can hit the road.”
Consumers Energy is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy. It provides natural gas and/or electricity to 6.7 million of the state’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.