Michigan local government leaders report increases in local planning for electric vehicles (EVs)

May 2024

This report presents the views of Michigan’s local government leaders on electric vehicle (EV) policies in their communities, including the relevance of EV infrastructure planning for their government, whether they currently have or are considering local EV policies, and challenges to local EV infrastructure expansion. These findings are based on statewide surveys of local government leaders in the fall 2023 wave of the Michigan Public Policy Survey (MPPS), with comparisons from the fall 2019 wave.

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Key findings

  • Statewide, 39% of Michigan local government leaders say planning for electric vehicles (EVs) is somewhat relevant (24%) or very relevant (15%) for their local governments, up from 23% who said the same in 2019. Meanwhile, just over a quarter (28%) say that planning for EV infrastructure is not relevant at all for their local governments, a substantial decrease from 40% in 2019.
    • Village (14%) and township (10%) leaders are less likely to say planning for EVs is very relevant for their local governments, compared to leaders in cities (32%) or counties (30%).
    • Similarly, rural officials are less likely to say EV infrastructure planning is relevant for their local governments compared with those from urban areas.
  • More than a third (34%) of local officials currently say their community has too few publicly-accessible charging stations (up from 29% who said the same in 2019), while 30% say they have about the right amount, and just 2% believe they have too many. Just over another third (35%) say they are unsure whether they have the right amount of EV stations, but this is down from 48% who were unsure in 2019.
    • Among local leaders who report there are at least some publicly-accessible EV charging stations available in their community, 41% say they still have too few; among those that currently do not have any EV charging stations in the jurisdiction, 32% believe they have too few.
  • Only 13% of Michigan local governments currently report having considered or adopted any local EV policies to fund or incentivize the use of EVs, however, this is double the percentage who said they had considered or adopted such policies four years earlier.
    • Officials from mostly urban (45%) and urban (40%) communities are more likely to report in 2023 considering or adopting local EV policies compared to those from rural (16%) and mostly rural (5%) communities.
    • When asked about six different types of EV policies local governments may be considering or may have adopted, the most commonly reported are incorporating EVs into the jurisdiction’s vehicle fleet, including EV policies in planning documents such as a community Master Plan, and disseminating information about EV charging locations around the community.
  • Local leaders cite costs associated with adding new EV charging stations (53%) and lack of interest among residents (51%) among the barriers to EV expansion in Michigan communities.