Increase in EV charging stations in Michigan in 2022, but access still limited

East Lansing, MI–January 25, 2023: Anderson Economic Group has released the results of their recent analysis on the state of the electric vehicle charging infrastructure in Michigan, finding that it continues to be inadequate for the demand.

Findings. There are currently 200 public DC fast charging stations and 908 Level 2 charging stations across Michigan.

In 2022, the number of public DC fast charging stations increased by 44 (or about 29%) over the prior year, when there were 152. An additional four came online in early 2023. This growth rate is slightly lower than that of the entire nation. In the US, the number of public DC fast charging stations increased 33% in 2022. There are currently 6,830 DC fast charging stations in the US.

The firm’s experts analyzed the geographic distribution of existing charging stations. Among the findings:

  • DC fast charging stations are concentrated in the lower half of the Lower Peninsula.
  • These are available mainly in the urban areas of Detroit, Ann Arbor, Lansing, Grand Rapids, and Kalamazoo.
  • There are few DC fast charging stations in the upper half of the Lower Peninsula, with some available in Traverse City and along major highways.
  • Only 8 DC fast charging stations are in the Upper Peninsula. Those are in Marquette, Houghton, Sault St. Marie, Escanaba, and Norway.

Michigan has all three types of EV charging stations. The fastest are DC fast, which can charge an electric vehicle in about 30 minutes. Because of their speed, most EV charging infrastructure investment focuses on this type of charging station.

Speed of charging station, by type:

  • Level 1: ~1 kW AC (can take 3+ days to charge an EV)
  • Level 2: ~6 kW AC (can take 4-6 hours to charge most EVs)
  • DC Fast: 50 kW+ DC (can take 30 minutes to get from 20% to 80% charge)

Comparison: EV Charging Stations Infrastructure

Despite growth in EV sales in Michigan, the number of charging stations is very limited compared to the vast availability of gas stations across the state. AEG senior consultant Cristina Benton, points out that “Michigan’s network of gasoline stations took nearly a century to develop, and it likely includes more than 4,600 stations nowadays.” These include convenience stores with gas stations as well as truck centers and plazas.

Dr. Benton also notes that “only 16% of Michigan’s population lives within a 10-minute round trip drive of a DC fast charging station. In contrast, more than 87% of Michigan’s residents live within a 10-minute round trip of a gas station.” Also, it is worth nothing that gas stations have multiple pumps while electric car charging stations typically have 2 ports.

Why it Matters

  • As the number of electric vehicles on Michigan roads continues to increase, having enough EV charging stations is critical to enable longer driving ranges and lower wait times at chargers.
  • Auto manufacturers are investing billions of dollars in assembly and battery plants to support building an increasing number of EV models.
  • The federal government seeks to encourage the transition to electric vehicles. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act dedicates $5 billion in formula funding for states with a goal to build a national charging network. The Inflation Reduction Act has several provisions that focus upon the adoption and manufacturing of electric vehicles.

Dr. Benton explains that “the limited availability of charging stations for electric vehicles is a significant roadblock to the mass adoption of EVs in Michigan, especially in rural areas and in tourism hot spots. To address range anxiety, more fast charging stations must be available.”

The analysis uses data from the US Department of Energy Alternative Fuels Data Center, as of January 23, 2023.