Granholm: Michigan at the cutting edge of electric vehicle push

Posted at 9:40 PM, Jan 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-28 10:37:33-05

WASHINGTON D.C. — U.S. Secretary of Energy and former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm says the future of automobiles is electric and Michigan is gearing up, or charging up to be a big part of that.

This week, Big Three automaker General Motors announced a $7 billion investment to produce electric vehicles and trucks right here in their home state, creating more than 4000 jobs.

“Isn't it so great? I was saying to the president yesterday that I feel like so much of what is happening now in Michigan, especially this General Motors investment is the fruit that is born from the seeds that were planted during the Recovery Act,” Granholm said in an interview with FOX 17 Thursday.

“It was during the Recovery Act that Michigan got some of these initial grants for electric vehicle batteries for the battery building out like LG, Chem, etc. And of course, saving the auto industry during the Recovery Act. So now the auto industry is, is booming, Michigan is benefiting from the diversification and all the jobs. Michigan is really at the cutting edge. It makes me so, so happy and so proud to see what's happening,” Granholm added.

Full interview with Jennifer Granholm

The push towards electric vehicles was evident in Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s State of the State address Wednesday.
While standing in front of a row of them at a plant in Detroit, she proposed a $2500 state rebate for families who buy electric, Granholm says that, along with federal credits, will help make Evs more affordable in the short term.

“It means that the electric vehicles are going to be on par in terms of cost, or maybe even a little bit lower than an internal combustion engine vehicle. This is all about the uptake of interest in electric vehicles. And then the second piece of this, of course, is making sure that we have the electric vehicle infrastructure that exists so that people feel comfortable that they can fuel if you will, their car when they buy an electric vehicle,” Granholm explained.

Doing that will require infrastructure upgrades across the nation, the recently passed bipartisan infrastructure law has earmarked funding for it. In September, Governor Whitmer announced a new initiative to expand EV infrastructure across the state.

“Michigan is going to get from the federal government $100 million, $110 million for electric vehicle charging infrastructure in combination with what the governor has already proposed. So that means filling in all the gaps in the infrastructure on freeways, and in poor areas where the private sector hasn't gone. So that's a really important step, then bringing down the price of the vehicles altogether,” Granholm added.

“The third step that the industry is working on that the Department of Energy is working on, and that the bipartisan infrastructure bill funded is investments in battery technology to continue to drive down the price. Of course, the cost of an electric vehicle is largely related to the battery, that's the biggest chunk of it...but you continue to drive that down means that we'll see really great penetration of electric vehicles all across the country, led, of course by Michigan.”

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