Governor Gretchen Whitmer joined state and local leaders, members from Adopt a Charger, and electric car automaker Rivian beside the lovely, sandy beaches of the Lake Michigan based at Holland State Park to celebrate the first of about 15 electric vehicle charging stations to be built at state parks as well as a state fish hatchery facility in Michigan in the next several years.
At the 142-acre state park facility in Ottawa County, 2 Rivian Waypoints chargers were inaugurated today, followed by a first charge using a Rivian R1T pickup. Governor Gretchen Whitmer said, “This cooperation to put charging points in our state parks reflects the coordinated partnership we are adopting to grow our economy and combat climate change head-on with clean, reliable energy.
“These charge points along the Lake Michigan EV Circuit build on Pure Michigan’s strong legacy of exploration and bringing communities and businesses together to ensure that we honor our past as the region that put the globe on wheels while also investing in our talent as we spearhead the transition to electric vehicles. We’ll keep growing the economy, creating well-paying jobs, and cutting prices for drivers and working-class people if we work together.”
Rivian, an electric car manufacturer and automotive technology firm, will provide open-network, the Level 2 Rivian Waypoints chargers at zero cost to the state or taxpayers as part of an operating deal between Adopt a Charger and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
“We congratulate the state for continuing to implement regulations that maintain Michigan at the frontline of innovative electric mobility, which is why we’re delighted to step up our partnership with the state today at Holland State Park,” Rivian’s Senior Director of Public Policy Chris Nevers stated. “Through our state parks charging initiative, we are able to collaborate with our partners to provide a solution to the EV-charging gap. We’re investing because we believe that experiencing the natural world ought to be accessible without adding to local air pollution, environmental damage, or climate change.”
Throughout the deal, Adopt a Charger, a nonprofit group, will provide technical, marketing, and sponsorship assistance for the chargers’ operation. Electricity will be provided for two years by ITC, an electric transmission business. Consumers Energy is funding the modifications to the electrical systems at state parks that are required for charger installation through the Power MI Drive program.
An expected total of 30 chargers will be built as part of the first phase of the project, commencing in the summer and continuing throughout the year, from Warren Dunes State Park facility in the southwest corner of the Lower Peninsula, north along the Lake Michigan “gold coast,” and other spots inland.
“This project will assist Michigan not only in the short term but also in the long term as we progress toward a sustainable energy future,” stated DNR Director Dan Eichinger. “We are aiming to enhance the environment while we update our portfolio, from these Electric Vehicle charging stations to solar array installations that power fish hatcheries as well as other sites, to mass timber construction and our revolutionary carbon sequestration projects.”