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First-of-its-kind study identifies ideal locations for fast-charging electric vehicle chargers in Michigan, looks at tourism destinations at state parks

September 30, 2019

A row of electric vehicle fast-chargers

The ideal locations and number of fast-charging electric vehicle (EV) chargers at tourism sites at state and national parks in Michigan were announced recently in a supplemental study by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE).

The first phase of the study identified the ideal locations and number of fast-charging electric vehicle chargers along well-traveled Michigan highways.

The study focuses on minimizing investment costs and user delay, while ensuring the feasibility of statewide EV travel.

"This first-of-its-kind study will prove invaluable to Michigan regulators, policy makers, utilities, EV charging companies, municipalities and others, as the network of fast-charging stations is developed along Michigan highways and state parks," said Robert Jackson, assistant director of EGLE's Materials Management Division.

Conducted by researchers at Michigan State University, the optimization study is the first initiated by any state government to inform placement of EV charging infrastructure with stakeholder input.

The study looks at the ideal charger locations based on future projected EV demand, using low, mixed, and high technology scenarios.

The on-going study is based on input from stakeholders, including EV owners, utilities, auto companies, charging station operators, and non-profits; Michigan's Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, Department of Natural Resources, and Department of Transportation; the Michigan Public Service Commission; and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

The next phase of the study will focus on an analysis of optimal EV charging equipment placement within select metropolitan areas in the state. The findings are expected to be released by the end of the calendar year.

EGLE will use the results of the study as it makes available $9.9 million over the next three years to place chargers across the state as part of the public network. The money comes from the 2016 Volkswagen diesel settlement. Additional resources for a public EV charger network are expected to be available from other stakeholders, including utilities and private entities.

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