Regulators Green-Light Consumers Energy’s EV Pilot

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The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) recently authorized Consumers Energy to launch the state’s first electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure pilot program.

Consumers will launch its PowerMIDrive pilot program, a three-year, $10 million effort to support the growing EV market in Michigan through new rates, rebates and customer education.

The program includes a nighttime rate to encourage EV drivers to charge their vehicles between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. Residential EV drivers who sign up for the nighttime rate will be offered a $500 rebate for each EV. The utility will also offer $5,000 rebates for chargers installed in public areas such as workplaces and multi-unit dwellings and up to $70,000 in rebates for the installation of a DC fast-charger.

The commission ruled separately on a contested issue in the PowerMIDrive pilot and approved Consumers’ request to recover program costs over five years through a deferred accounting mechanism. The MPSC ruled the mechanism is an incentive for Consumers to support EV charger placement throughout Michigan, avoid expensive future capital infrastructure investments when EV use is anticipated to grow, and educate consumers about the benefits of off-peak charging. The cost recovery request was agreed to by all parties in the settlement agreement except the Environmental Law & Policy Center.

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