JACKSON, Mich., Sept. 25, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumers Energy today announced plans to provide more electric vehicles for its employees -- a major step toward a clean energy future for Michigan.
Consumers Energy President and CEO Patti Poppe said this morning that the company is now buying or leasing electric vehicles instead of purchasing new sedans that rely on gasoline. Poppe and an official from General Motors also announced the start of a pilot program to test smart charging for electric vehicle owners.
"Electric vehicles are ready for the fast lane, and Consumers Energy wants to support this technology for the good of Michigan and our planet," Poppe said. "Electric vehicles will reduce our carbon footprint, supporting our company's Clean Energy Plan to already cut carbon emissions from our power plants in the next two decades."
"GM's vision is for an all-electric future with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion," said Dane Parker, Vice President, Sustainable Workplaces for General Motors. "We're honored to have such strong partners at Consumers Energy who share our commitment to provide more sustainable solutions for everyone."
Consumers Energy's electric vehicle plans include the following:
NEW VEHICLES -- Over the next five years, Consumers Energy expects to replace over 100 sedans with electric vehicles that it will purchase or lease. The change does not affect heavy equipment.
SMART CHARGING -- Consumers Energy and General Motors will work together to test new technology that allows owners to plug in their electric vehicles at home and delay charging to start until overnight hours. Consumers Energy offers rates specifically for electric vehicle owners to encourage charging in off-peak hours, when there's less demand for electricity from the grid.
CHARGING STATIONS -- Consumers Energy is developing a $7.5 million effort over three years to encourage the development of electric vehicle charging stations across Michigan. That would include rebates for charging stations in people's homes, at their workplaces and along major thoroughfares.
Consumers Energy has been a strong promoter of electric vehicles, offering its first special charging rates nearly a decade ago. It was also one of the early energy providers in the country to pilot an incentive program for home charging stations.
Last year, the Edison Electric Institute and Institute for Electric Innovation forecast up to 7 million electric vehicles will be traveling on U.S. roads by the end of 2025.
"It's important to see Michigan companies like Consumers Energy and General Motors take such significant steps to promote electric vehicles here in our state," said Liesl Clark, President of the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council. "We need to drive Michigan's advanced mobility industry to build a road to a bright future for Michigan's economy and environment."
Consumers Energy, Michigan's largest energy provider, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and/or electricity to 6.7 million of the state's 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.