Getting “Plugged-In” as a Team

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

Last Thursday, we had an excellent meeting with representatives from the cities of Warren and Dearborn.   Our goal was to discuss how we could work together as a team to lead the State of Michigan as “Champion Cities” in preparing for plug-in electric vehicles.

Since the car companies and numerous suppliers have huge footprints in our communities, we have a common interest in supporting this emerging industry with a unified approach.  We have been urged to step up and support the early adoption of these vehicles.  How do we do that?  Well, we do what we do best … infrastructure planning and education.

EV charging stations, like this one on the Auburn Hills municipal campus, will become commonplace in various regions of the United States in years to come.

Municipalities in strategic regions across the country have been asked by the federal government and the auto industry to plan for and implement a network of public and private charging stations to support the market.

Places like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Austin, Houston, Raleigh, Chicago … and Auburn Hills have responded and led.   Yes, with the help of our partners at the Ann Arbor-based Clean Energy Coalition, the City of Auburn Hills has been “hanging with the big dogs.”

We know full well that this new technology will not replace gas engines anytime soon.  That was never the goal.  Experts believe that these vehicles will constitute only 4% to 10% of the market by Y2020.  It will be a long and protracted road.   Regions that support plug-in electric vehicles will see more of them and the associated economic development that comes with the new innovation.

We are starting to see our experience being replicated in other regions of the country.  However, we strongly wish to share the Auburn Hills Story – the lessons we have learned – with our Detroit area peers to support Michigan.   That’s what good planning is all about.  It’s electrifying for us!

To learn more about the City of Auburn Hills’ plug-in electric vehicle experience, click on these blogs below …

  1. Who Created that Sign?
  2. No Risk, No Reward
  3. California Dreamin’
  4. Plugging Into Opportunity
  5. Planning Ahead: An ‘Electrifying’ Concept