Michigan needs to lead the nation in electric vehicle design and manufacture as well as in developing a charging infrastructure, according to state legislators Sen. Mallory McMorrow (D-Royal Oak) and Rep. Joe Bellino (R-Monroe), who recently hosted a video roundtable discussion with automotive industry leaders on the future of the electric vehicle industry at Rochester’s City Hall.
“Michigan built the American automotive industry, but it’s an industry that’s changing more rapidly now than any other time before,” says McMorrow. “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. It’s critical that the legislature and the governor work together to move forward on positioning Michigan to be a leader in the future of this industry.”
In June 2019, McMorrow introduced a bipartisan four-bill package that would support the growth of electric vehicles in Michigan and establish the nation’s first statewide charging network.
“These bills encourage our state to create a collaborative and coordinated plan, working with private companies, small businesses, utilities, and various state departments to build out the state’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure, making Michigan the first fully networked state,” says Bellino. “This electric vehicle legislation would preserve good automotive jobs as the industry continues to shift, reduce taxes on businesses and encourage those who stop to charge vehicles to put dollars back into our local economies while they wait. This bill gets it done for Michigan residents and our state as a whole.”
Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. are fully committed to transitioning to electric vehicles and a zero-emissions future. This makes the state’s support for the industry even more important, according to the panelists.
“The next generation of the automobile is quickly evolving from concept to deployment,” says Glenn Stevens Jr., executive director of MICHauto and vice president of Automotive and Mobility Initiatives for the Detroit Regional Chamber. “As electric vehicles begin navigating Michigan’s roads, we will require the sufficient necessary infrastructure to support them.”
Cory Connolly, vice president of policy at the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council, says, “The world is moving toward an automated, shared, and connected mobility future – and it is all going to happen on an electrified platform. Investments in charging infrastructure like those included in the package of bills led by Sen. McMorrow and Rep. Bellino are crucial to make this transition possible and to help unleash private sector innovation.”