by Scott McClallen
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer celebrated the installation of two of the 30 eventual electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at state parks. She made the announcement at Holland State Park.
“This partnership to install charging stations in our state parks speaks to the collaborative approach we are taking to grow our economy and address climate change head-on through clean, reliable energy,” Whitmer said in a statement. “These charging stations along the Lake Michigan EV Circuit build on our rich Pure Michigan tradition of exploration and bringing together communities and businesses to ensure that we honor our past as the place that put the world on wheels and continue to invest in our workforce as we lead the transition to electric vehicles.”
Thirty chargers are planned, which will contribute charging options along the Lake Michigan travel route.
The Adopt a Charger nonprofit and EV automaker Rivian will provide Level 2 Rivian Waypoints chargers at the 142-acre state park in Ottawa County. The nonprofit will support chargers while electric transmission company ITC will fund for the electrical use for two years. Consumers Energy will funds upgrades to the electrical systems at state parks necessary for charger installation.
“This project will not only benefit Michigan in the near term but will also pay dividends far into the future as we move toward a sustainable energy future,” Department of Natural Resources Director Dan Eichinger said in a statement. “From these EV charging stations, to installations of solar arrays that power fish hatcheries and other facilities, to building with mass timber and our innovative carbon sequestration development, we are working to improve the environment as we update our own portfolio.”
The chargers are the latest push to incentivize Michiganders to buy EVs. Whitmer’s budget for next year aims to spend $374 million subsidizing EVs despite there being only about 13,545 EVs in the state compared to 5.8 million gas vehicles.
Hillsdale College economics professor Gary Wolfram has questioned why taxpayers are subsidizing EVs, which are disproportionately driven by more affluent people.
Whitmer has dumped hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars into select private companies, including $824 million on General Motors’ electric vehicles programs.
Despite the subsidies, the emerging EV technology is burdened with supply chain problems, battery recycling challenges, and ethical concerns of child slave labor to mine rare earth minerals essential to EV batteries.
Planned EV charger installations for this year includes:
- Warren Dunes (Berrien County).
- P.J. Hoffmaster (Muskegon County).
- Charles Mears (Oceana County).
- Ludington (Mason County).
- Orchard Beach (Manistee County).
- Leelanau (Leelanau County).
- Young (Charlevoix County).
- Petoskey (Emmet County).
- Wilderness (Emmet County).
- Interlochen (Grand Traverse County).
- Holland and Grand Haven state parks (Ottawa County) and the Oden State Fish Hatchery (Emmet County).
- Palms Book State Park (Schoolcraft County).
- Fayette Historic State Park (Delta County).
State Parks in the Upper Peninsula are scheduled for next year.
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Scott McClallen is a staff writer covering Michigan and Minnesota for The Center Square. A graduate of Hillsdale College, his work has appeared on Forbes.com and FEE.org. Previously, he worked as a financial analyst at Pepsi.
Photo “Gretchen Whitmer” by Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Background Photo “Electric Vehicle Charging Station” by さかおり. CC BY-SA 4.0.