GM, Partners Get Michigan Ready For EVs

GM has a lot riding on the Chevy Volt, of course, so it’s not surprising the car maker is leading a movement to get electric-vehicle charging infrastructure in place ASAP. Now the company has announced that some 5,300 of its pricey Voltec 240V charging stations will be installed for free in its home state of Michigan, with two big power providers agreeing to pull most of the freight.

DTE Energy and Consumers Energy will pay up to $2,500 apiece for a total of 5,000 charging stations, GM said. That should cover the full cost in most cases, since the charger is priced at $490 and GM estimates installation at around $1,475.

GM Michigan

image via GM

A Voltec charge takes about four hours, whereas plugging the Volt into a standard outlet would require some 10 hours. That’s a big difference, as Vice Chairman Tom Stephens seemed to recognize with this statement: “Since our homes may soon be our fueling stations of the future we believe the most important way to make communities ‘plug-in ready’ is by enabling residential charging.”

Also of note is the fact that many charging stations being installed at GM facilities as part of this roll out  – chargers are being put in workplaces as well as homes – will be powered by solar energy. GM has partnered with Envision Solar, among others, to handle the clean energy harvesting requirements for these particular locations.

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Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.

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