Michigan Gov. Whitmer's EV charging plans expand to 5 Midwest states

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Looks like Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's Lake Michigan EV Circuit could turn into a regional affair. The planned EV Circuit, announced last week, will be a web of DC fast chargers on the state's 1,058-mile-long tourism-heavy corridor along the shores of the eponymous Great Lake. But wait, there's more. On September 30, Whitmer and four other governors signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding to create REV Midwest, the Regional Electric Vehicle Midwest Coalition, as a unified initiative to build out charging infrastructure throughout the region. The other four project collaborators are Illinois Gov. Jay Pritzker, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz and Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers.

Evers said, "We shouldn’t have to choose between building a cleaner, more equitable state and economic development — and thankfully, vehicle electrification is an area where we can do both." REV Midwest has three primary aims: hasten the electrification of heavy- and medium-duty fleets; boost the economy by attracting public and private investment, attracting federal grant funds and creating jobs using the region's tech and industrial base; and, make sure the EV revolution doesn't leave any communities behind.

A task force of senior leaders from each state will begin work on how to carry out each goal, from on-the-ground issues like the best charging standards and charging locations for large fleet vehicles, to regulatory issues that lay the groundwork for the switch to electrification and the issues that follow. There will also be heavy focus on "an equitable transition to electric vehicles for all with specific consideration for communities that are historically disadvantaged."

Missouri state power company Ameren — neither one a party to REV Midwest — has predicted the number of EVs on U.S. roads to grow from 2 million today to 19 million by 2030. Indiana's Holcomb said the proper infrastructure is "needed to future-proof our transportation network and meet the demand as rapid adoption of electric vehicles continues," and he believes the Midwest region alone will need to employ about 105,000 workers to build a network to satisfy demand.

If the Senate infrastructure bill were passed as-is in the House, REV Midwest would by vying for a piece of the cumulative $12.5 billion allotted for EV charging initiatives.

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