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Consumers Energy plan could encourage electric vehicle adoption

Chevy Volt at charging station
Mariordo (Mario Roberto Durán Ortiz)

Consumers Energy is proposing a $7.5 million rebate and education pilot project to encourage electric vehicle adoption.

If approved by the Michigan Public Service Commission, individuals could apply for up to a $500 rebate towards the cost of installing a home charger, generally around $2,000 - $2,500.

Businesses and apartment complexes could receive larger rebates to help defray the cost of installing chargers for public use, including fast chargers, which can replenish an EV battery to about 80% in 15 or 20 minutes.

Consumers Energy spokesman Brian Wheeler says fast chargers can make longer distance trips doable.

"You could imagine there could be some (fast chargers) along the highway, so a family taking a trip across the state on vacation, they could stop, power up their vehicle some more and keep going," says Wheeler.
Consumers also plans to offer lower rates for charging electric vehicles at night, to encourage people to charge the vehicles when the demand on the grid is lowest.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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