Wisconsin joins three other states in planning a Lake Michigan Electric Vehicle Circuit Tour
Wisconsin and three other Midwest states have agreed to set up a network of electric vehicle charging stations, so EV-driving tourists could make it the roughly 1,100 miles around our nearby Great Lake.
State and local officials announced The Lake Michigan EV Circuit Tour Tuesday, next to a solar-powered EV charger outside Racine City Hall.
Kathy Blumenfeld is Secretary-designee of the Wisconsin Department of Administration. She painted a verbal picture of the program:
"The solar vehicle charger you see here, right behind, is just one of dozens of access points that will make the EV tour possible. The multi-state collaboration is focused on building out infrastructure for the best new road trip for EV drivers in America," Blumenfeld says.
The collaboration is with Michigan, Indiana and Illinois. The Evers Administration says many of the needed EV chargers operate now, but completing the network for the Lake Michigan EV Circuit will take a few years, as officials try to eliminate range anxiety—the fear of running out of power in an EV.
State Transportation Secretary Craig Thompson acknowledges that EV charging times depend on the type of car battery unit, type of charger, and how much electricity a driver wants to add. So, he says drivers will need something to do while charging the car.
"Optimal locations will be in easy walking distance from dining, shopping, opportunities and other tourist attractions," Thompson says.
Thompson says the state will not own the charging stations but will work with charging station companies and other partners.
The DOT Secretary is counting on using some of the roughly $80 million the federal government may provide the state over five years if the Biden Administration accepts Wisconsin's recently-submitted EV charging station plan.