Goal of One Million Electric Vehicles by 2015 A Boost for Michigan

In his State of the Union Address, President Obama laid out ambitious goals for the United States' clean energy future.

Not only did he single out an entrepreneurial Michigan solar panel business, he placed a great emphasis on a wide array of advanced, sustainable technologies. Obama likened clean energy development to the previous generation's space race and engaged all of us to commit to the success of electric vehicles (EVs) as part of that impressive and necessary challenge.

Today, a number of environmental groups that are working toward the broader adoption of EVs for the sake of job creation, Michigan industry, and forward-thinking green technology praised the President's vision.

“The President in his State of the Union address nailed it when he said it is time to stop subsidizing yesterday’s energy, and to start investing in tomorrow’s,” said Charles Griffith of the Ecology Center. “In Michigan, tomorrow is here. With the Chevy Volt and the new electric Ford Focus, we can lead the nation to meeting the one-million vehicle challenge, and continue to be part of the exciting future of the domestic auto industry.”

The electric Chevy Volt recently hit the streets to rave reviews and was the star of the North American International Auto Show. Both the car and the advanced battery it runs on are manufactured in Michigan. The electric Ford Focus, unveiled at the same auto show, will also be built in Michigan.

“Putting the electric vehicle in the national spotlight is a huge opportunity for Michigan,” said Ryan Werder of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters. “Michigan needs to step up to the plate and make sure we take advantage of that opportunity, including ramping up infrastructure investments like charging stations for electric vehicles.”

The President’s budget proposal, slated for release in mid-February, will include funds directed to select communities with the intent of ratcheting up infrastructure like the charging stations, which will help to support electric vehicle use and purchase.

“When the President releases that budget, we want Michigan to be the top of the list for these infrastructure investments,” said David Gard of Michigan Environmental Council. “The electric car, and the industries it supports, is vital to Michigan’s economic recovery.”

-- photo credit: wemotor.com