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Michigan Council on Future Mobility and Electrification Recommends Policy Changes, Investments to Better Position the State as a Transportation Leader
November 16, 2022
Michigan has announced 30,000+ auto jobs since January 2019, strong growth driven by bipartisan economic development, workforce programs, focus on electrification and chips
LANSING, Mich.—Today, the Michigan Council on Future Mobility and Electrification released 16 policy recommendations to further the state’s efforts to remain a global mobility and electric vehicle leader. The recommendations were featured in the council’s 2022 annual report and are designed to help achieve the ambitious goals outlined in Governor Whitmer’s MI Future Mobility Plan, Michigan’s new strategy for maintaining global leadership in next-generation transportation through the year 2030.
“Michigan’s mobility future is bright because we are focused on responsive policy that meets the needs of our workers, companies, and communities,” said Trevor Pawl, the state’s chief mobility officer, and head of the Michigan Office of Future Mobility and Electrification. “A state that focuses on new policy frameworks that account for future mobility scenarios will have the agility to hold leadership positions as the transportation landscape rapid evolves. By delivering on these recommendations, we can achieve the goals of Governor Whitmer’s MI Future Mobility Plan and keep Michigan in the driver’s seat for decades to come.”
The Michigan Council on Future Mobility and Electrification was created by Gov. Whitmer in 2020, bringing together leaders from the automobility industry, research universities, clean fuels advocacy and state government to provide annual recommendations to state policy and ensure that Michigan continues to be an epicenter of future transportation solutions around mobility and electrification.
Members include Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Stellantis, Toyota, Rivian, Waymo, University of Michigan, Michigan State University, United Auto Workers, House and Senate Majority and Minority legislators, Clean Fuels Michigan and eight state departments and agencies.
Over the past year, the council engaged with stakeholders throughout the state in a series of workgroups to identify ways to overcome mobility challenges. These workgroups were supported by subject matter experts from the Center for Automotive Research, Peracchio and Co., and the American Center for Mobility. Based on the workgroup findings and guided by the three pillars outlined in the MI Future Mobility Plan, the following recommendations were made:
Transition and grow our mobility industry and workforce.
- Invest in bus rapid transit and spend $10 million to revive the state’s mobility challenges to solve for employment and equity barriers.
- Fund a public relations campaign to enhance MI’s sustainability leadership.
- Scale the Michigan EV Jobs Academy.
- Create a global center of excellence for responsible artificial intelligence.
Provide safer, greener and more accessible transportation infrastructure
- Expand Michigan’s Alternative Fuel Corridor opportunities for clean hydrogen and commission a study on hydrogen applications in commercial traffic.
- Develop accessibility standards for EV chargers.
- Create a state EV consumer incentive.
- Fund a $45 million bus electrification program.
- Expand use of sinking funds to support electric school bus deployments.
- Support Phase Two of the MDOT work zone safety pilot program.
- Design a clean fuels standard that works for Michigan.
Lead the world in mobility and electrification policy and innovation
- Invest $30 million into UAS technology development.
- Pass legislation to preserve Michigan’s uniform, statewide automated vehicle policy.
- Keep up the annual support for state mobility agencies’ capacity.
- Pass legislation to create a mobility research and development talent tax credit.
- Continue advocating to federal policymakers on important connected vehicle issues.
“To remain the worldwide leader in mobility, Michigan must continue to reinvent public policies, invest in high-quality communities and infrastructure and continue deploying and testing mobility innovations,” said Susan Corbin, director of the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity and chair of the Michigan Council on Future Mobility and Electrification. “We must also win more business attraction opportunities than our competition and develop outstanding talent that will lead our state into the next generation of mobility.”
Since CFME’s 2021 annual report, major strides have been made to keep Michigan’s global mobility leadership intact. Key investments from 2022 include:
- General Motors making a historic $7 billion investment across two Michigan facilities to expand assembly operations and battery cell production.
- LG Energy Solution announcing a $1.7 billion investment, to add 1,200 new jobs and ramp up battery production in Holland, Michigan.
- Ford announcing it would put $2 billion into assembly production and add 3,260 jobs in Wayne Co.
- Our Next Energy announcing a $1.6 billion investment creating 2,112 jobs at their new gigafactory in Van Buren Township.
- Gotion announcing a $2.36 billion investment creating 2,350 jobs at their new facility in Big Rapids.
- Detroit-based drone software developer Airspace Link securing $23 million in Series B funding.
These investments in electric vehicle production and advanced mobility are just the tip of the iceberg; more opportunities to invest in a skilled workforce, high-tech talent development and attraction, infrastructure readiness and an attractive economic development environment lay on the horizon.
“For 50 years, Michigan has been home to Toyota’s North American Research & Development operations, which is now our largest in the world outside of Japan,” said Derek Caveney, senior executive engineer – Integrated Vehicle Systems Division at Toyota North America. “This legacy of growth and success can be attributed to everything the state has to offer. Through our participation in the Michigan Council on Future Mobility and Electrification, we’re glad to offer our perspective for helping Michigan maintain a mobility leadership position for the next generation.”
"The policies detailed in this year's Council report demonstrate the vast array of solutions available to unlock a cleaner, more equitable transportation system,” said Jane McCurry, executive director at Clean Fuels. “Effective and coordinated policies are necessary to continue growing the clean fuels industries in Michigan. Capitalizing on the various opportunities available to us now - from federal funding to state policy initiatives - will cultivate good-paying jobs and keep Michigan at the forefront of innovative mobility."
“Rivian proudly serves on The Michigan Council on Future Mobility and Electrification and supports the Council’s mission to develop the state’s comprehensive electrification strategy, and coordinate specific goals, policies, and programs to serve all stakeholders, said Chris Nevers, senior director of public policy at Rivian. “The Council is leading by example on what states can do to accelerate the transition to electrification while being thoughtful on accessibility, innovation and workforce development.”
The council looks forward to working with state lawmakers to implement these recommendations over the next year to help Michigan maintain its strong, global leadership in mobility and electrification.
To learn more about the Michigan Council on Future Mobility and Electrification and the MI Future Mobility Plan, visit www.michiganbusiness.org/ofme.