Community leaders across Michigan are hoping the emerging electric vehicle industry will serve as their road map out of the state’s high jobless rate. To support their view, business leaders, labor groups and environmental and non-profit organizations in the Great Lakes State have joined together to launch the “Built by Michigan” campaign.
The campaign kicked off with a petition urging Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and the state legislature to support the future success of the electric vehicle. The petition calls electric cars “the future of the automobile industry,” and asks government officials to, among other things, support direct rebates to electrical vehicle buyers, provide financial incentives for the installation of car charging stations and implement clean fuel standards for vehicles operating within the state.
Michigan has always been the center of America’s auto industry, but the recession and poor economy have left double digit unemployment rates across the state. According to officials pushing the initiative, the state spent $15 billion importing oiling for other states and countries in 2009 alone.
Leaders are now hoping to grow their foothold in the electric vehicles manufacturing and alternate energy development sector with the help of the campaign. They have a couple of things already going for them in this. The Chevrolet Volt s currently manufactured in Detroit, for example, and A123 Systems, an advanced battery manufacturer, recently hired its 100th employee at its Livonia, Michigan office.