Adopt a Charger, Rivian Installing EV Chargers in MI Parks

Ken Zino of AutoInformed.com on Adopt a Charger, Rivian to Install EV Chargers in Michigan Parks

Republicans continue to oppose and block the badly needed Build Back Better legislation. Many governors are embracing the future in ways they can to promote clean energy.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan today joined state and local officials and representatives from Adopt a Charger and startup electric vehicle wanna-be Rivian* at the first of ~15 EV charging sites to be installed at state parks and a fish hatchery in Michigan during the next few years. Two Rivian Waypoints (sic) chargers were unveiled at the 142-acre state park in Ottawa County.

The state park charger installations deliver on Gov. Whitmer’s announcement in 2021 of a Lake Michigan EV circuit, an electric vehicle route with reliable charging options along Lake Michigan and key tourism clusters, creating “the best new road-trip for EV owners in America.” The Lake Michigan EV Circuit is part of ongoing efforts, such as the Charge Up Michigan program, to employ green technologies throughout the state, including solar-powered amenities, carbon sequestration and numerous efficiencies. 

“This partnership to install charging stations in our state parks speaks to the collaborative approach we are taking to grow our economy and address climate change head-on through clean, reliable energy,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “These charging stations along the Lake Michigan EV Circuit build on our rich Pure Michigan tradition of exploration and bringing together communities and businesses to ensure that we honor our past as the place that put the world on wheels and continue to invest in our workforce as we lead the transition to electric vehicles. Together, we will keep growing our economy, creating good-paying jobs, and lowering costs for drivers and working families.”

From Warren Dunes State Park in the southwest corner of the Lower Peninsula, north along the Lake Michigan “gold coast” and additional points inland, an estimated total of 30 chargers are scheduled to be installed as part of the first phase of the project with the next installations beginning in summer and continuing through the year.

Adopt a Charger is a nonprofit organization that will provide technical, marketing and sponsorship support for the operation of the chargers throughout the duration of the agreement. ITC, an electric transmission company, will provide the funding for the electrical use for two years. Consumers Energy, through the Power MI Drive program, is providing the funds to pay for upgrades to the electrical systems at state parks necessary for charger installation.

*Consider the pressure old-line automakers are under: For Q1 2022 Tesla reported $3.22 earnings per share, and revenue of $18.76 billion. Vehicle sales were only 310,048. Moreover, Tesla reported record automotive margins of 32.9%.

GM Q1 2022 earnings report showed financial performance that was down for shareholders – at $1.35 per share, off $0.68 compared year-over-year. Overall, Q1 net earnings of $ 2,939,000,000 came from $11 billion in revenue, with a Net Income margin of 8.2%, down 1.1 ppts. GM’s Q1 market share was 9% on sales of 1.4 million units. Market share was down year-over-year due to semiconductor shortages and lack of dealer inventory. GM has an ambitious strategy that it must execute almost flawlessly to retain its position among other leading global automakers. Thus far old-style equity analysts seem baffled by the strategy and the need to rethink capitalism’s demonstrated failure to protect people and the environment. (GM Q1 $4 billion. Net $2.9B)

As with GM, Ford Motor during Q1 2022 was battered by supply chain disruptions mostly beyond its control, as well as self-created costs from the valuation of its investment in Rivian with a mark-to-market loss of $5.4 billion on the company’s investment – down from $10.6 billion at the end of 2021. Strong customer demand from the ongoing Biden Administration recovery wasn’t helped by GM or Ford’s popular vehicles because of persistent supply chain issues. There is also a looming affordability crisis as prices are reaching record levels. (Ford Motor Blues – Q1 Loss of $3.1 Billion)

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