On Wednesday, the Michigan Public Service Commission hosted the Michigan Technical Conference on Alternative Fuel Vehicles. Professionals from the auto industry, utility companies, and academia gathered to discuss consumer trends and policy issues surrounding electric vehicles.
Infrastructure, or lack thereof, was a hot topic of discussion during several of the panels. Britta Gross, Director of Advanced Vehicle Commercialization Policy at General Motors, explained that consumers are hesitant to purchase EVs because of “range anxiety,” a fear of not being able to reach a destination based on battery life. Automakers and EV charging companies urged utilities to invest in more charging stations, and utilities expressed a need for multi-industry partnerships to meet consumer needs.
Other panels touched on rate design, mobility services, and flying cars of the future. Tim Ward of MLC said of the forum, “it was a great opportunity to bring industry leaders together to collaborate and engage with stakeholders. Despite the claims of range anxiety by some, it should be noted that nearly 400,000 people placed a $1,000 reservation for the Tesla Model 3 within 48 hours.” The conference concluded with a unanimous call for more policy guidance to be set by the Commission.
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