Detroit’s DTE Energy today announced its new “Charging Forward” program, which will offer incentives, customer education, and charging infrastructure growth to encourage electric vehicle adoption.
Limited consumer awareness and range anxiety, or the fear of running out of power before reaching a destination, are two factors suppressing electric vehicle acceptance, the company says.
DTE will provide a rebate of up to $500 to residential customers who purchase or lease new or used electric vehicles, installs a qualified Level 2 charger, and enrolls in a special rate beneficial for electric vehicle charging. DTE’s business customers can also receive incentives of $2,500 per port and $20,000 per charger when they install Level 2 or DC Fast chargers.
“We’re thankful for the support of the Michigan Public Service Commission as well as auto industry partners and environmental advocacy groups, all of whom share our goal of expanding EV use in Michigan,” says Camilo Serna, vice president of corporate strategy for DTE. “Customer surveys tell us that more people are likely to use EVs if they can easily obtain chargers and feel confident that they will find locations to charge along their routes. Charging Forward will provide the infrastructure to make drivers feel more secure by removing both these obstacles.”
The program will encourage DTE customers to charge their electric vehicles during off-peak hours, which will help spread the demand on the electric grid. The distributed demand is expected to add efficiencies to DTE’s electric distribution and put downward pressure on prices.
“Through collaborative discussions with diverse groups – including DTE, which provided thoughtful insight – the Michigan Public Service Commission was able to develop regulatory policies that will have a positive impact on the use of electric vehicles in Michigan,” says Norman Saari, a MPSC commissioner. “Our state’s path forward now is recognized nationwide as fair, reasonable, and progressive.”
The program will also help DTE further its understanding of the electric vehicle market and its customers, as well as learn how electric vehicles’ increased demand and can be used as a tool to provide benefits to all of DTE’s customers.
“Charging Forward is a positive step for advancing EV infrastructure in Michigan,” says Mike Ableson, vice president of electric vehicle infrastructure for Detroit’s General Motors Co. “GM congratulates and supports the leadership demonstrated by DTE to help customers realize the benefits of EVs and reduce barriers to EV adoption. The Charging Forward program will help make driving a Chevrolet Bolt or other EVs more convenient than ever before.”
DTE is hoping to increase electric vehicle use, including in its own fleet. The company has committed to reducing its carbon emissions by at least 80 percent by 2040. These environmental gains will be further advanced with increased electric vehicle adoption.
The company has also formed partnerships in the public and private sectors to extend charging stations to public areas. As part of the Detroit Mobility Innovation Initiative, DTE will install chargers in public areas such as Detroit’s Beacon Park. More sites are under consideration. DTE has partnered with GM and Dearborn’s Ford Motor Co. in testing tools to enable electric vehicle charging features that are grid-friendly.
DTE is a diversified energy company. Its operating units include an electric company serving 2.2 million customers in southeast Michigan and a natural gas company serving 1.3 million customers in Michigan.