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DTE Energy, Consumers Energy pledge more fast-charging stations for electric cars

A fast charging station for electric cars.
Lindsey Smith
Michigan Radio

Michigan's two largest utilities are committing to help build a network of fast charging stations across Midwest states - including Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma.

Fast chargers can partially recharge an electric car's battery in about 20 minutes, and fully recharge it in about an hour.

Car companies are planning to dramatically increase their electric vehicle launches in the next two years, and EV car sales are expected to rise as a result.

Brian Wheeler is with Consumers Energy. 

"If you are someone who lives in Michigan, but you plan to travel out of state or plan to travel a long distance, over time you will have the confidence that you will have the ability to charge your vehicle wherever you go," he says.

Wheeler says Consumers Energy is offering significant rebates to companies that build the recharging stations. 

DTE Energy is doing the same. 

DTE spokesman Chris Lamphear says cars and trucks now account for nearly a fifth of U.S. carbon emissions.

"We want to make sure that we can enable the full participation of the transportation industry in eliminating fossil fuels from the environment on an accelerated pace," he says, "And we recognize that having an extensive charging network is the way to get there."

Lamphear says the rebates offered for companies that build the fast-charging stations are significant, and these companies also often seek public-private partnerships with cities and companies like Meijers in order to find the best locations that are convenient for travelers.

Consumers Energy is one of Michigan Radio's corporate sponsors.

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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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