Plugging Into Opportunity

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

“A leader must lead.  Where others see obstacles, he must see opportunities.  When others see problems, he must see possibilities … Civilization is not built on a negation, but on an affirmation – an affirmation of the bright and promising possibilities that the future holds for those who are enterprising enough to pursue them.” – David J. Vaughan

A little less than one year ago, the City of Auburn Hills sailed into unchartered waters when it decided to tackle the issue of preparing for plug-in electric vehicles.  Our team’s risk and hard work is starting to payoff.

EV’s Charging at A123 Systems

I had the privilege yesterday to participate in a frank and informative round table discussion, on behalf of the City, on the topic of electric vehicles at A123 Systems’ battery manufacturing facility in Livonia.

The meeting was sponsored by The Pew Charitable Trusts, which is an independent non-profit, non-partisan organization based in Washington D.C.

The objective of the meeting was to engage key Michigan leaders from the public, private, and non-profit sectors to share their experiences, observations, and insights in areas critical to accelerating electric vehicle penetration into the consumer market.

Those participating were representatives from the Offices of Governor Snyder and Senator Stabenow, Michigan House Representatives, Next Energy, Ford Motor Company, A123 Systems, Clean Energy Coalition, MI Public Service Commission, Lansing Board of Water and Light, 5 Lakes Energy, DTE Energy, Consumers Energy, SPX Corporation, PEP Stations, Center on Energy and Climate Solutions, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers … and of course the City of Auburn Hills.

I was told by our partners at the Clean Energy Coalition that The Pew Charitable Trusts specifically wanted Auburn Hills at the table for this meeting.  They had heard that we had adopted a proactive Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Ordinance and wanted to know how we pulled it off.  They specifically wanted to learn about how our strategy could be replicated across Michigan and the United States.  It was quite an honor.

It will be exciting to see what the future holds for our City as we continue to share our experiences about electric vehicles.