Federal money influx plans hope to ease state’s range anxiety


SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (FOX 2)For some EV drivers, Meijer parking lots are the best and easiest way to find fast-charging stations.

Now, Michigan is investing millions of dollars to build stations along our freeways and even in the most remote areas of the state.

At a store site on Eight Mile, FOX 2 met people playing the waiting game — during their lunch break — at a fast-charging station in the parking lot.

It’s either waiting for the car to charge or like Cindy Desanges-Gabbidon who was waiting on a charger.

“Wherever there was a station, there were already three or four people there,” she said. “And you have to wait.”

FOX 2: “You drove around for how long trying to get a station today?”

“An hour. I spent the last 40 minutes driving around,” she said.

And that’s just making local trips. She hasn’t taken her electric car on road trips because of less accessibility to fast-charging stations.

The Michigan Infrastructure Office hopes to cure that kind of range anxiety with a $23 million project, which would provide charging stations to 40 locations statewide.

They’ll be located along freeways from Benton Harbor to Lansing to Detroit. And all the way to Sault Ste Marie in the Upper Peninsula.

“Really the purpose of this program is to make sure that you get anywhere you want in this country in an EV with full confidence,” said Zachary Kolodin.

Kolodin is the governor’s chief infrastructure officer. His office helped make this project happen with federal funding.

The initiative is expected to offer more jobs. Officials hope it will drive down EV costs, which Kelly Blue Book says the average hovers around $50,000.

“We are really trying to help people access those long-term savings from lower fuel and maintenance costs by taking down the initial sticker price,” he said.

Kolodin said he was happy that Michigan is continuing to be a player in the EV market and evolve with the industry it helped create.

“I’m really delighted that there are Michigan-based EV charging operation companies that have won contracts,” he said.

Meanwhile, back at the fast-charging station on Detroit’s west side, we met Spencer Ray, who is planning to take his new electric car on a road trip to New York.

“I’m looking forward to it, honestly,” he said. “It can be difficult when you’re going up north. I haven’t taken this one up north, but I know some of my buddies complain about it extensively.”

Construction on the fast charging stations can begin in the next couple months. Companies have five years to finish the job.


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