LANSING, Mich. (Michigan News Source) Despite a substantial $5 billion federal allocation from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to enhance EV charging infrastructure across the U.S., the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program has delivered only 11 stations in seven states, leaving Michigan without any.

Although Michigan is set to receive $110 million by 2026, only $23 million has been awarded so far to establish 41 new charging sites. The first few are expected to be operational by the end of this year, with the majority coming online in 2025.

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Lawmakers like Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon have voiced frustration, labeling the slow progress as a “vast administrative failure,” according to The Detroit News.

Contrary to national frustration, Michigan’s transportation officials and charging providers assert that the NEVI rollout is proceeding appropriately within the state. 

“There needs to be an adjustment of expectations about how long it actually takes to get chargers built,” Sara Rafalson, EVgo’s executive vice president of public policy and external affairs, told The Detroit News.

Despite the challenges at the federal level, Michigan is attempting to advance through state-led programs. The Charge Up Michigan initiative, managed by the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, has already facilitated the installation of 194 chargers. Additionally, the Lake Michigan Circuit partnership, involving Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin, aims to streamline EV road trips around the lake, with initial grants set to be announced soon.

These efforts are part of Michigan’s broader goal to support 2 million EVs on its roads by 2030, as reported by The Detroit News. The state’s stance is further evidenced by a 52% increase in public DC fast-charging stations in 2023, outpacing the national growth rate of 47% (Anderson Economic Group).

Nonetheless, significant gaps remain, particularly in rural areas like the Upper Peninsula (U.P.). 

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In these less-served regions, EV drivers often experience “range anxiety” — a term that refers to the fear that a vehicle has insufficient battery charge to reach the next charging point. Local EV drivers seeking to mitigate this issue can try using apps like PlugShare to find available charging stations.

EV infrastructure in Michigan is influenced by figures like U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who supported the Biden-Harris Administration’s $623 million grants for expanding the EV charging network earlier this year. Buttigieg’s role at the Department of Transportation includes overseeing the NEVI program, which aims to support states like Michigan in building their EV infrastructure.

“America led the arrival of the automotive era, and now we have a chance to lead the world in the EV revolution—securing jobs, savings, and benefits for Americans in the process,” Buttigieg said, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.