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Energy News Network: Why the State Budget This Year Is Key to Michigan’s Transportation Future

Posted by Laura Sherman and Samarth Medakkar on Apr 27, 2023

In an op-ed in Energy News Network, Samarth Medakkar joins Michigan EIBC President Laura Sherman in writing about the ways Michigan's 2024 budget is set to expand the state's EV infrastructure and how the Gov. Whitmer administration can fully realize its EV goals with that funding.

The shift to electric vehicles is firmly under way in Michigan. Across the Whitmer administration,  the legislature, local and municipal governments and the private sector, a number of initiatives have been launched to make that transition happen. But the next year or so might be the most crucial time to determine the success of those efforts.

Through fiscal year 2026, the state of Michigan is receiving about $110 million in federal funding to realize the state’s plan to build an electric vehicle (EV) charger at least every 50 miles along several highway routes that the state has nominated for the federal government to designate as Alternative Fuel Corridors. These include some of the most well-known and well-traveled routes in the state, like Petoskey to the Mackinac Bridge and Detroit to the Blue Water Bridge. This $110 million comes from the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program, a U.S. Department of Transportation program created by the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).

But while these dollars come from the federal government, actually putting them to use is going to take hard work in Michigan. Crucially, the executive budget proposed by Gov. Whitmer includes a provision to allocate $45 million for a “Michigan Clean Fleet Initiative” to help counties, municipalities, airports, and regional transportation authorities switch their vehicle fleets to electric vehicles and clean fuels.

Topics: United In The News, Samarth Medakkar