Midwest Energy News – July 31, 2017
Written by Andy Balaskovitz
Clean energy advocates say the automotive capital of the world could be doing more to support the growth of electric and alternative fuel vehicles.
While major automakers in Michigan are embracing a future of electrified transportation, state policy is still lagging when it comes to actually increasing the number of electric vehicles on the road. According to the group Clean Fuels Michigan, the state is one of only 13 that doesn’t have statewide incentives for purchasing electric vehicles and ranks 41st for deploying all forms of alternative fuel vehicles, such as those powered by natural gas.
Mike Alaimo, executive director of Clean Fuels Michigan, added that Michigan is “about average” for EV deployment per capita as well as the number of EV charging stations and other forms of infrastructure, which he said was initially bolstered by federal stimulus funding. …
Karlee Weinmann, research associate at the Minneapolis-based Institute for Local Self-Reliance, said incentives should be targeted to varied income levels as a way to “democratize access” to electric vehicles. Additionally, non-monetary incentives — like allowing EV drivers to use carpool lanes — has proven effective in some states, Weinmann said.
“That speaks to a certain intuitiveness to these polices,” she said. “States can be clever when considering the communities they’re working in.”
The Institute for Local Self-Reliance published a report in June detailing how EV deployment can boost the resilience of the local electric grid, encourage more renewable energy generation from wind and solar and overall decrease emissions.
“Ultimately, electric vehicles are another tool to miniaturize the electricity system, providing unprecedented local control,” the report says.