Saturday, July 30, 2011

4000 Electric Car Charging Stations Planned for West Michigan

West Michigan has a vested, economic interest in the success of the electric car.

Whatever is happening on the national and state level, don't forget that there are people and groups out there pushing and pushing and pushing for change. When the TV News talking head dust settles, the biggest difference in how we live our lives 10, 20, 50 years into the future is going to come from this local level. From our infrastructure and manufacturing future.

Right now the West Michigan Strategic Alliance, lead by Greg Northrup, is pushing West Michigan to lead the way in adopting and manufacturing clean energy technology. The organization has outlined an ambitious plan to install 4000 electric charging stations in 8 West Michigan counties. The goal, of course, is to help usher in a new era for the automobile. All electric.

Strategic Alliance President Greg Northrup presented to Muskegon County commissioners this week the regional-collaboration group's proposal to purchase and install more than 4,000 charging stations in West Michigan over the next four years. Northrup said thousands of charging stations would saturate the region, reducing prospective electric-vehicle buyers' anxiety about not having enough access to recharge.

If one didn't know Greg Northrup, the County Commissioners, or the West Michigan Strategic Alliance, one might think this sort of thing is idle fancy...

...until one realizes that West Michigan's economic future is now inextricably bound to the manufacture of electric car batteries. Holland, Michigan has an advanced battery manufacturing plant that employs over 300 people that community, while the Muskegon advanced battery manufacturing plant breaking ground this Fall will employ as many as 700 individuals....about as many as the now closed Paper Mill employed at one time.

West Michigan has a vested, economic interest in the success of the electric car. It's in our best interest, and the nation's interest, that we provide a model region for adoption of electric car use.

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