Originally posted on CBS Detroit
“One of the things that people were most concerned about was, ‘If I’m going to drive across this country, where am I going to charge,'” said Shailen Bhatt, the U.S. Federal Highway Administrator. “That’s what this investment is all about, making sure that as electric vehicles become a larger and larger percentage of the fleet, that Americans are able to charge up everywhere in the country.”
Currently, there are about 170,000 charging stations across the country, and here in Michigan, that number is about 3,000, according to the U.S. Department of Energy – a figure officials want to increase. Officials hope these grants will help them reach that goal.
The Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Discretionary Grant Program receives its funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Lansing will get $8 million for these new charging stations, and other cities like Detroit can also get in on this investment in a later round of grant funding.
“What we wanted to do was bring the infrastructure to the people rather than make them drive to it,” said James Leonard, a research and program analyst with Michigan Clean Cities. “Where we have tentatively planned to get this infrastructure in the ground is in the neighborhoods. It’s in community centers, it’s at the schools, it’s places where people are going to live their lives anyway.”
Leonard says Michigan Clean Cities does work statewide, so these new charging stations might not be unique to Lansing. Detroit could see some new ones in the future.