By Scott McClallen
(The Center Square) – An 878-mile electric vehicle corridor will stretch from Kalamazoo to Quebec City, Quebec, which officials said will be the first binational electric vehicle corridor.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer joined U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Canadian Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra, and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan to announce the corridor featuring DC fast chargers about every 50 miles.
“There’s nothing more Pure Michigan than accidentally driving into Canada, and now that journey will be electric on either side of the border,” Whitmer said in a statement. “I am proud that we are working together to build up electric vehicle charging infrastructure. With the resources headed our way from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the bold investments Michigan automakers are making right here in Michigan, we will build and lead the future of mobility.”
The Michigan Department of Transportation hasn’t responded to additional questions about the corridor, including a cost breakdown.
There are only 25,181 electric vehicles registered in Michigan compared to 6.5 million vehicles with internal combustion engines. It’s unclear how many chargers have been installed so far, and who’s paying for them. The Center Square has reached out to government officials with those questions.
“The U.S. and Canada have long enjoyed a productive partnership on transportation issues and in that spirit we are proud to announce the first-ever U.S.-Canada EV Corridor,” Buttigieg said in a statement. “With historic investments in EV infrastructure from the Biden-Harris Administration and the Canadian government, we are creating a new generation of good-paying manufacturing jobs, making it possible for drivers everywhere to reap the benefits and savings of these vehicles while helping us fight climate change.”
The Biden administration aims to encourage 50% of all new vehicle sales to be electric by 2030. Michigan will receive $110 million for EV chargers.
However, EV owners don’t pay gas taxes to fund roads. An Anderson Economic Group study estimates that from 2019-2021, Michigan roads lost out on $50 million in state gas tax because EVs charge instead of filling up at the pump. With EVs representing between 15% to 25% of new vehicle sales statewide by 2030, EVs could cost the state $95 million a year by 2030, with a total deficit of up to $470 million.
A Federal Highway Administration told The Center Square about the corridor: “The federal government last fall approved Michigan’s plan that entails siting, etc (in fact all 50 states were approved last fall) and the state now has unlocked the first tranche of funds. The state decides how best to get the chargers procured and installed. The MI corridor that runs from the Detroit-Windsor tunnel to Kalamazoo runs on I-94.”
Alghabra welcomed the news.
“Canada and the United States have built the world’s largest market-based energy trading relationship, which provides a firm foundation as we strive to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions,” Alghabra said in a statement. “This first cross-border alternative fuel corridor will help drivers to travel across the border and charge or refuel worry-free. It contributes to bringing us another step closer to making our air cleaner while helping people save money on traditional fuels.”
Scott McClallen is a staff writer covering Michigan and Minnesota for The Center Square. A graduate of Hillsdale College, his work has appeared on Forbes.com and FEE.org. Previously, he worked as a financial analyst at Pepsi.
Originally published by The Center Square. Republished with permission.
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