Auburn Hills prepares for wave of electric vehicles

Auburn Hills

is preparing for a world where electric vehicle chargers are commonplace
in new construction, where they’re as prevalent in parking lots as
handicapped spots and where there will be an interconnected network of
charging stations similar to the cell phone towers that have made
communication so instant.

The city that’s home to Chrysler Group has passed an ordinance, believed
to be the first in Michigan and patterned off the best practices of
communities in other states, that will encourage developers, builders,
home owners and business owners, to make electric car charging stations a
regular part of construction.

The Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Ordinance passed on July 11th will
also offer guidance during construction and ideally save time now and
money in the future, says Steven Cohen, director of community development for Auburn Hills.

“Our main goal was to raise awareness about the infrastructure that’s
needed to support electric vehicles,” Cohen says. “We want to share with
homeowners, developers and also with municipal planners throughout the
state that this is something that’s coming.  We want to support this
technological innovation in the auto industry.”

He says an ordinance like this one encourages, but does not require,
property owners to “rough in” their home garages or parking lots for
future charging station installations. It cuts red tape and makes them
easy to install. Making an electric charging station part
of a home garage is simple and similar to the electric lines and
circuits needed to power something like a refrigerator or air
conditioning unit, but is much cheaper to install when the home is being
built.

“The electric vehicle is not going to take over the market, but there’s
going to be a sizable segment of motorists that will demand a convenient
network of charging stations.  Michigan communities will need to
prepare for this anticipated consumer demand and be ready when it
comes,” Cohen says.

By 2015, all automakers will offer electric vehicles as the federal
government encourages alternative forms of energy in an effort to lessen
America’s reliance on gasoline, Cohen says.

“This innovation is good for Detroit, good for Michigan, and good for
America,” Cohen says. “We encourage Michigan communities to proactively
plan for and adapt to this paradigm shift in how vehicles will be
refueled. Thousands of electric vehicles, like the Chevy Volt and
Nissan Leaf, will be on the road before we know it. It is very
exciting.”

Source: Steven Cohen, director of community development, city of Auburn Hills
Writer: Kim North Shine

This article previously appeared in Metromode.