Apr 11, 2023 - News

Scoop: Detroit exploring new public EV charging sites around downtown

Data: City of Detroit; Map: Axios Visuals

The city's parking department has finally identified more than a dozen potential locations for EV charging sites, records obtained by Axios show.

Why it matters: More public chargers are critical to expanding the city's infrastructure to support EV adoption, a goal buoyed by hundreds of millions in state money going to car and battery companies.

  • Detroit's lack of widespread access to EV chargers remains a significant barrier.

Driving the news: The city provided us records last week about its suggested on-street EV sites in response to a request we filed on Feb. 15.

State of play: City maps identify 15 charging sites, mostly around downtown and other business districts.

  • Many of the sites are near the places you'd expect: Riverwalk, Beacon Park, Grand Circus Park, Wayne State's campus and Eastern Market.

Between the lines: The suggested sites largely do not extend to the city's neighborhoods.

The intrigue: The city is still evaluating the sites and how chargers would impact parking behaviors at the likely EV-only spots, Tim Slusser, the city's office of mobility innovation director, tells Axios.

  • "The city is evaluating all options for where EV charging stations could be placed to support all Detroiters," Slusser said when asked about neighborhood chargers.

Zoom in: We stopped by a few of the sites yesterday and saw no signs of installation.

The big picture: Michigan and the federal government are both trying to spur more investment in public charging — which are easier to find in whiter, wealthier neighborhoods, a recent Axios analysis found.

  • The 2021 federal infrastructure law includes $5 billion for highway chargers and $2.5 billion for other community charging sites.
  • Concentrating EV chargers near downtown would exacerbate neighborhood disparities.

Check out the city's maps of the suggested EV sites


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