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Early data shows electric vehicle owners are charging at the "right time"

Michigan is preparing its infrastructure for an EV revolution
Michigan is preparing its infrastructure for an EV revolution

Michigan's Healthy Climate Plan has set a target of two million electric vehicles on state roads by 2030.

Those EVs will need to charge their batteries at the right time to protect the electric grid. Michigan's two largest utilities say the early data are encouraging.

Currently, there are about 30,000 pure EVs registered in the state, according to the Michigan Secretary of State.

Consumers Energy says only 12% of EV owners in its territory are charging at its peak demand times, from 3 to 7 p.m. weekdays. The rest charge off peak, with more than half charging after 11 p.m.

DTE Energy says 85% of home and public charging combined happens outside of its peak hours, 2 to 7 p.m. weekdays.

Two million EVs would require roughly 600 megawatts of electricity to charge. But that's only about a quarter of the combined capacity of the utilities' largest gas power plants.

The greatest difficulty could come if Michigan utilities are required to stop using natural gas, a fossil fuel, to produce electricity, and virtually the entire vehicle fleet is electrified.

Consumers Energy and DTE Energy have "net zero" carbon emission goals by 2050.

DTE Energy and Consumers Energy are among Michigan Radio's corporate sponsors.

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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