Less than 1% of vehicles sold in Michigan in 2020 were EVs. If Michigan builds charging infrastructure, will EVs come?
Last year, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy released the Michigan Healthy Climate Plan, a roadmap to decarbonize Michigan 100% by 2050.
The plan says Michigan must build the infrastructure for two million electric vehicles by 2030. That would require a major shift in demand, in less than a decade.
“Electric vehicles represent a small portion of current auto sales in Michigan today,” reads page 38 of the plan. “Only 0.62 percent of all vehicles sold here in 2020 are electric. Two of the key current barriers to widespread uptake are the higher purchase costs typically associated with these vehicles and the real or perceived lack of electric charging infrastructure.
The state’s theory is that if it builds the infrastructure, drivers and businesses will start using electric vehicles.
Michigan has about seven million registered drivers, and 10 million residents. Two million electric vehicles means 28% of drivers, and 20% of Michigan, will be driving EVs within seven years, using current population numbers.
The report continues:
“Through expanded funding through the Charge Up Michigan program and partnerships with utilities and the private sector, Michigan will deploy enough charging infrastructure to support two million electric vehicles on the road. in Michigan by 2030. account for at least 50 percent of light-duty vehicle sales, 30 percent of medium- and heavy-duty vehicle sales, and 100 percent of public transit vehicles and school buses sold that year .”
That’s a big jump from 1%. Is it possible?
Jason Hayes, director of environmental policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, has his doubts.
“They’re making big statements to get a headline, and to show that they’re doing all these ‘green’ things,” Hayes told CapCon. “If they don’t hit the targets, they sweep it under the rug and put another press release on their next target.
“In the meantime, what’s going to happen is they’re going to get target funding from all their big corporate friends and donors,” Hayes added. “And then their corporate friends and donors will play along and do the same thing.”