AUBURN HILLS — Around 100 people attended Thursday’s “Are You Plugged In? Preparing Your Community For Electric Vehicles” event, sponsored by the city of Auburn Hills, the green initiative OakGreen and the Ann Arbor-based Clean Energy Coalition.
The agenda included a presentation from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. about the potential impact of energy storage and electric vehicle industries on economic development, perspectives from electric vehicle engineering leaders at Chrysler, Ford and General Motors, and the Auburn Hills’ “game plan” on electric vehicle infrastructure. Additionally, there was a discussion on charging stations and a demonstration on charging station installation.
Hawk Asgeirsson from DTE Energy spoke on electric vehicles and their impact on the energy grid and the keynote speaker was Dan Davids, president of Plug-In America and an electric vehicle technology advocate.
Matt Sandstrom, division manager for the Clean Energy Coalition, which administers the Metro Detroit and Ann Arbor Clean Cities Coalitions, says collaboration between OEMs, utilities, and municipalities is crucial.
“We need to work together to create the right conditions for electric vehicles and charging infrastructure,” Sandstrom said. “Consumers will gain confidence in electric vehicle technology if communities work along side their public and private partners to develop supportive policies and ordinances.”
In July, Auburn Hills became the first city in Michigan to adopt a comprehensive electric vehicle charging ordinance to facilitate infrastructure planning for electric vehicles.
Auburn Hills’ EV infrastructure ordinance encourages, but does not require, property owners to plan for or install EV charging stations to support future market demand.
Auburn Hills now has seven charging stations within the city limits. Three are located downtown and were provided by a grant from DTE; two are on the municipal campus and two are located at the Department of Public Service. The latter four charging stations are courtesy of a demo program from Chrysler Group.