May 9, 2023 - News

Detroit says its going "full-bore" on EV infrastructure

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Detroit's commitment to building its electric vehicle infrastructure has gone from zero to 60 in the last year.

Why it matters: The city is now embarking on a long-term plan that officials hope will define how cities adapt to the EV transition.

What they're saying: "We're going full-bore at this," Tim Slusser, Detroit's chief of mobility innovation, tells Axios. "We want Detroit to be the leader in the Midwest for charging infrastructure."

Flashback: Slusser admits the city's posture has changed drastically. As recently as last August, the city was largely relying on privately-funded EV chargers and had no plans to fund any EV charging infrastructure.

Driving the news: After our scoop last month on possible charging sites around downtown, the city rolled out new details about several more potential locations across Detroit at rec centers and city-owned parking lots.

  • "We're starving for EV charging in the city of Detroit right now," Slusser says. "We want that story to be very, very different within the next 12 to 18 months."

The big picture: Detroit wants to lead the way for cities looking to integrate new transportation technologies — a transition already happening before our eyes.

🔬 Zoom in: Ford's Michigan Central campus in Corktown aspires to be a hotbed for mobility innovation dovetailing with the electrification of transportation.

Between the lines: The city is applying for federal grants to help fund installation of the charging sites.

  • The charging sites will be integrated into the city's parking system. Some will be at city lots and parking structures, while others will be on-street.
  • The broader strategy, including more electric buses and more partnerships to increase EV accessibility, will take several years to implement, Slusser says.

What's next: The city is awaiting proposals from companies wanting to partner on the chargers' deployment and maintenance.

  • The deadline is May 22.
Tim Slusser, Detroit's chief of mobility, describes the city's EV infrastructure plan at city hall
Tim Slusser, Detroit's chief of mobility innovation, describes the city's EV infrastructure plan at City Hall. Photo: Joe Guillen/Axios
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