← Back to News

Federal cash paying for 41 EV charging stations along Michigan highways

Man charging EVStory by  of WOOD TV

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan is set to build dozens of electric vehicle charging stations across the state, several of which will be in West Michigan.

Nearly $23 million from the federal government is supporting the construction of 41 charging stations. They will be built right off major highways so drivers can make long trips without worrying about running out of power.

Shannon Heads of Grand Rapids has driven an electric vehicle, a Mustang Mach-E, for nearly two years and loves it. She says it saves her money on fuel.

“I think I’m saving money not having to do anything for gas,” Heads said. “The vehicle maintenance is very, very low, if any. There’s not a lot of moving parts, there’s no real engine.”

Even with the auto industry’s shift toward electrification, there are still a lot more gas stations out there than electric vehicle chargers. Heads has opted to take a different vehicle for long road trips in the past, fearing there wouldn’t be enough charging stations or her car would take too long to charge.

Zachary Kolodin, the director of the Michigan Infrastructure Office, said the new expansion will allow people to make longer trips.

“What it makes certain is there is a DC fast charger no less than every 50 miles along those corridors,” Kolodin said. “You really never have to worry about range anxiety.”

Each station in Michigan will have at least four fast chargers, getting drivers back out on the road quickly.

“You can be at 10% to 15% on your battery and be back up to 80% within 15 minutes,” Kolodin explained.

Heads said that 15 minutes to stop and charge her vehicle is “nothing.”

“You can spend 20 minutes in a gas station standing in line and going to the bathroom and picking out your snacks,” she said. “It really ends up being no different than a gas engine at that point.”

Grand Rapids prepares to roll out EV car-sharing program >

The new stations are part of a nationwide effort called the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program, which is funded by the 2021 bipartisan infrastructure deal. The program will offer Michigan $110 million to expand EV charging infrastructure across the state. The first phase, the EV charging station expansion, is aimed to support 100,000 electric vehicles across Michigan.

There will be two charging stations in Muskegon and one each in Portage, Marshall, Saugatuck and Benton Harbor.

Two stations will be in metro Grand Rapids at a cost of nearly $1 million. The first will be in Walker on Alpine Avenue, next to a Marathon gas station and off US-131 and I-96. The other will be on Michigan Street NE, next to Chase Bank and close to I-196.

“The shift toward electrification is driven in part by infrastructure. That’s the key piece of the need we’re filling today,” Kolodin said. “We’re building out EV infrastructure to complete this charging network.”

Construction on some of the stations could be finished by the end of the year. It’s unclear when the Kent County locations will be complete, but Kolodin said all of them must be done within five years.


This article first appeared at woodtv.com.

Showing 1 reaction


Add your voice to those in
Michigan working for a stable climate

Get updates