Consumers Energy to add 200 EV chargers by 2023

Breana Noble
The Detroit News

Consumers Energy says it will add 200 chargers for electric vehicles in Michigan before the end of 2023 in an effort to power 1 million EVs in its service territory by 2030.

Automakers are dedicating themselves to zero-emission futures, but EVs make up less than 3% of U.S. sales. Car buyers weary of EVs often cite lack of charging infrastructure in addition to range anxiety, speed of charging and their higher cost as obstacles to adoption.

Half of the 200 chargers Consumers Energy will install will be the fast chargers. The Jackson-based utility provides up to $70,000 for governments and businesses that want to install them.

Consumers Energy has helped install 35 fast chargers in its service territory. It plans to add another 100 fast chargers this year and next.

Of the other 100 chargers, 90 will be focused on overnight charging like at hotels. The other 10 are for apartments and other multi-unit dwellings.

Citing data from the Michigan Secretary of State, the Jackson-based utility says EV sales at the end of 2021 in Michigan rose 58% year-over-year and 71% in its serviced communities that are mostly in the western and central parts of the Lower Peninsula.

“Michigan was the birthplace of the automobile, and now we’re the hub of the automobile’s next generation,” Sarah Nielsen, executive director for electric vehicle programs, said in a statement. “Consumers Energy is driving Michigan’s EV transformation, powering charging stations that make it easy to drive EVs across the state and promoting affordable, convenient charging at home that gets vehicles moving every day.”

Consumers Energy has helped add more than 1,500 chargers for homes and businesses and along thoroughfares. It's placed 35 fast chargers that it says can charge an EV battery in a half-hour. The subsidiary of CMS Corp. offers rebates to homeowners for chargers to fuel up overnight. It also is helping more than 50 companies in converting their fleets to EVs.

Consumers Energy says it's doing its part in reducing its own carbon emissions, as well. It expects to end the distribution of coal-powered electricity by 2025 with a goal of carbon neutrality by 2040.

“Michiganders and our state’s automakers are showing they’re ready for the next generation of vehicles," Nielsen said. "Consumers Energy is putting that transformation into high gear by providing clean energy and the resources to help homeowners and businesses make the easy, affordable and clean switch to EVs." 

Twitter: @BreanaCNoble