Consumers Energy commits to powering 1 million vehicles by 2030

Breana Noble
The Detroit News

Consumers Energy predicts up to a third of vehicles in its service area could be electric by 2030, the company said Thursday.

The Jackson-based utility is committing to encourage consumer adoption and power 1 million EVs by 2030. It estimates there are 3 to 4 million vehicles currently in its service territory covering most of the Lower Peninsula outside Metro Detroit and the Thumb, based off registrations with the Michigan Secretary of State, spokesman Brian Wheeler said. There are about 30,000 registered EVs in Michigan right now.

Consumers Energy predicts up to a third of vehicles in its service area covering most of the Lower Peninsula outside Metro Detroit and the Thumb could be electric by 2030, the company said Thursday.

Powering 1 million vehicles by the next decade isn't a question of infrastructure or electric grid capacity so long as customers mostly charge during off-peak hours, which are typically at night when less electricity is being used, Wheeler said. It comes down to consumer adoption. Consumer Energy's goal would support the target of the auto industry to have electrified vehicles represent 50% of new sales by 2030.

“Consumers Energy is committed to Michigan’s EV transformation, and all the road signs show an all-electric automotive future is moving closer to becoming a reality,” Lauren Youngdahl Snyder, Consumers Energy’s vice president of customer experience, said in a statement. “Michigan is doing the right things when it comes to manufacturing EVs and making ownership convenient, and we’re confident we can ensure our state is ready for this transformation.”

The subsidiary of CMS Energy Corp. is offering more than 1,000 rebates for homes, business and public charging stations thought its PowerMIDrive program. It plans to power growing demand for EVs with 200 fast-charging locations and more than 2,000 chargers at homes and businesses across the state over the next three years. It also is providing rebates for charging locations and expertise for businesses looking to electrify their vehicle fleets.

The company incentivizes off-peak charging with lower rates. A new Bring Your Own Charger program offers monthly rebates for charging at night. More EVs charging overnight can help to reduce electricity rates, Snyder said, creating more demand without overwhelming the grid.

Nationally, there are more than 2 million electric vehicles on U.S. roads today, according to the Edison Electric Institute. That number could grow to 18.7 million by 2030 with EV sales topping 3.5 million vehicles per year.

bnoble@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @BreanaCNoble