From Michigan’s upper peninsula to the Motor City, this great state has set a path to continue the journey of expanding the EV charging market. From new startups and increasing services, read on to learn more!
The first utility-led Electric Vehicle (EV) effort has been approved by the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) for the Upper Peninsula (UP). This authorization will let the Upper Peninsula Power Company (UPPC) and its customers access funding to help offset costs associated with EV fast chargers.
UPPC is based in Marquette and serves roughly 52,000 customers in 10 counties throughout the central and western UP. The installation cost will be split by the power company, state, and individual customers. UPPCO can recover costs with the MPSC at a later date through filings.
As more tourists become EV owners, the UP needs to adapt, according to Tom Nemacheck, Executive Director of the UP Travel and Recreation Association. He said, “We can’t afford to give them a reason not to come.”
Nemacheck continued to say that having a network of Level 3 fast chargers would complement the ongoing installation of Level 2 chargers. “There are hotels that are more and more putting them [EV chargers] in. They’re not the commercial ones that you might pull up to like a gas station, but people can plug them in at the hotel,” he said.
In roughly 10 to 20 minutes, fast chargers can partially recharge an EV battery, which lets drivers go on longer trips without having to stop for lengthy periods to recharge.
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Plug Zen, a new startup in Detroit, has featured its new electric vehicle charging platform, which is due to showcase at the Detroit Auto Show in September. Presented in the New York and LA Auto Shows, Plug Zen is one of the few black-owned businesses in the EV industry. Founded by Kwabena “Q” Johnson, who worked at Ford for ten years in the alternative fuel division, has moved into the EV arena before launching Plug Zen in 2020.
Johnson said, “I saw the vision early on.” Companies like Tesla, BP, and Shell are tough competitors in the sizzling EV market, but Plug Zen is looking to be among the thousands of EV charging stations across the United States.
Similar to a parking garage, Plug Zen is set up like an EV gas station, which is ideal for multi-family housing and workplaces. Plug Zen can charge up to 10 EVs at once, with a unique approach of the ability to sort of daisy chain the charging.
“Most people, they’ll be topping off at home or work so they’ll never run out of juice. Anywhere where a vehicle will likely sit for two hours or more will be an ideal place for our EV chargers,” Johnson said.
Despite being in the automotive capital, Johnson said he had to seek funding and investors outside of Michigan. Plug Zen received its $250,000 seed capital from Brown Venture Group, LLC, a venture capital firm based in Minneapolis.
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Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.