27 September 2010

Task Force: Michigan Ready for Plug-In Vehicles

The Detroit News

Members of the Michigan Plug-in Electric Vehicle Preparedness Task Force said today that Michigan is ready for the first plug-ins to roll off assembly lines this fall.

Members of the task force, which formed earlier this year and includes representatives from the automakers, state, utilities, nonprofits and environmental groups, as well as electrical inspectors and contractors, said that work jointly accomplished behind the scenes should make it easy for Michigan residents to drive and charge their plug-ins.

Special plug-in charging rates have been set for Consumers Energy and Detroit Edison customers, and there are utility incentive programs to help defray the cost of a charging station and installation.

Automakers also are helping with charging stations. Ford Motor Co., for example, will provide free home charging stations and installation for the first 5,000 customers who buy the plug-in Ford Transit Connect, said Charles Gray, chief engineer of hybrid programs for Ford.

At the state level, the House of Representatives is considering a bill that would provide those who pay the Michigan Business Tax and install a public charging station a MBT credit of up to 30 percent of the cost and installation.

And modifications to the state building code to allow home charging stations to be installed on a separately metered circuit are before the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, said Michigan Public Service Commission Chairman Orjiakor Isiogu.

"The goal is to have the code amended and effective before (plug-ins are) commercially available," he said.

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