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On World AIDS Day, New Mexico activists say more money is needed for prevention; ND farmers still navigate corporate land-ownership policy maze; Unpaid caregivers in ME receive limited financial grants.

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Secretary of State Antony Blinken urges Israel to protect civilians amid Gaza truce talks, New York Rep. George Santos defends himself as his expected expulsion looms and CDC director warns about respiratory illness as flu season begins.

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Congress has iced the Farm Bill, but farmer advocates argue some portions are urgent, the Hoosier State is reaping big rewards from wind and solar, and opponents react to a road through Alaska's Brooks Range, long a dream destination for hunters and anglers.

Energy Companies Developing Infrastructure, Grid to Power Electric Vehicles

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Wednesday, September 28, 2022   

For some time, electric vehicles have been seen as the wave of the future, but developments in Detroit, Stuttgart, and Nagoya suggest tomorrow has arrived.

After a period of hesitancy, carmakers are now moving at full speed to put nonpolluting EVs in American garages, and energy companies are planning to roll out the charging infrastructure to power the new technology.

This is National Drive Electric Week, and automakers and power companies are preparing for the transformation.

Brian Wheeler, media relations manager for Consumers Energy, said things are happening quickly.

"For Consumers Energy and other energy providers, this is the time for us to prepare," Wheeler explained. "We know that if we have about 25,000 EVs that we serve today, that number should climb to about 1 million by 2030. So that really gives you a sense of that growth."

Wheeler expects it will take several years before carmakers move from gas and hybrid cars to producing only fully-electric vehicles, but power companies are working now to educate businesses and individuals on the economic and ecological benefits of EVs.

Another part of National Drive Electric Week is to address consumer concerns about owning an electric car or truck, such as driving range, battery life, and maintenance issues. Wheeler said Consumers Energy wants to make it easier and more economical for Michiganders to own an EV.

"We're really committed to providing rebates and incentives that make that EV choice more affordable," Wheeler pointed out. "And also, if we encourage people to charge at the right time, which is typically overnight, they can take advantage of the best rates, and the lowest cost."

Wheeler said while gasoline-powered cars will likely be on the roads for another decade or more, the changeover to EVs is happening faster than many people realize.

"It's really an exciting time, and we've seen so much growth already," Wheeler observed. "We've been talking a lot about electric vehicles, but we also know it's a new experience for many people. And, of course, the vast majority of drivers today have gas combustion engines. So there's a big transformation at work."

Disclosure: Consumers Energy contributes to our fund for reporting on Community Issues and Volunteering, Energy Policy, Environment, and LGBTQIA Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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