If you know somebody with an electric car, you might see them driving it to the store, or work, but when was the last time they took it on a trip up north, or over to Detroit to see a ball game?  Forget about it!   Too risky.  Where are you going to get a charge?

Back in the 60's, almost nobody had an FM radio in their car.   By the 70's, everybody did.   Maybe we're on the verge of getting charging stations everywhere too.  Consumers Energy is working on it.   There's one going in in Marshall.   The utility company announced  that the first PowerMIDrive fast charging stations for electric vehicles are now operating in four Michigan communities across the state.

“Consumers Energy is excited to build the backbone of the state’s infrastructure for carbon-free vehicles,” said Brian Rich, Consumers Energy’s senior vice president for customer experience. “We are serving the public’s interest in electric vehicles, not just with these fast charging stations, but with over 400 rebates that our PowerMIDrive program has approved for homes and public locations across Michigan.”

Fast charging stations are now operating in Gaylord, Cadillac, Big Rapids and Marshall. The stations typically charge an electric vehicle battery from zero to up to 80 percent in an hour, giving drivers the power to travel long distances on vacation or for work.  Okay, lets hope there's a restaurant or movie theater next door.

Up to 30 more fast charging stations should be operating by early next year across the Lower Peninsula, in communities such as Flint, Kalamazoo, Muskegon, Jackson and Kalkaska. Consumers Energy provides rebates worth up to $70,000, plus electric upgrades to make them operational.

The new charging stations are located at the following locations:

  • Big Rapids – Johnny’s Markets, 21445 Perry Ave.
  • Cadillac – J&H Family Stores, 2560 E. Division St.
  • Gaylord – City of Gaylord, 201 S. Court
  • Marshall – Johnny’s Markets, 15423 N. Old US 127

Consumers Energy started PowerMIDrive last year to promote electric vehicle ownership for the good of the planet and Michigan’s economy. The Edison Electric Institute forecasts over 18 million electric vehicles will be on U.S. roads by 2030, and Michigan has seen year-over-year electric vehicle growth of more than 20%.

PowerMIDrive is still accepting rebate applications for home and public electric vehicle chargers:

  • RESIDENTIAL – Rebates worth $500 for installing eligible 240-volt chargers at homes.
  • PUBLIC – Rebates for 200 Level 2 vehicle chargers in public places and at workplaces, with a rebate of up to $5,000 per charger.

Those rebates are big enough to cover most, if not all of the cost, depending on which charging model you choose.

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