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DTE Energy launches "Charging Forward" program to drive electric vehicle education, infrastructure and adoption

DTE will provide rebates up to $500 on residential charger installations, with additional support for public, business and fleet EV infrastructure

DETROIT, June 4, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- DTE Energy on Tuesday announced its plan to bring the benefits of electric vehicles (EVs) to more Michigan residents and businesses through its new "Charging Forward" program of incentives, customer education and charging infrastructure growth.

DTE Energy (PRNewsFoto/DTE Energy)

Michigan is the nation's automotive center, but it lags many other states in EV adoption. Limited consumer awareness and "range anxiety" – the fear of running out of power before reaching a destination – are two factors suppressing increased EV acceptance. DTE's Charging Forward initiative takes both concerns head-on with increased customer education campaigns as well as incentives that will foster the development of an expanded infrastructure of EV chargers.

DTE will provide a rebate of up to $500 to a residential customer who purchases or leases a new or used EV, installs a qualified Level 2 charger and enrolls in a special rate beneficial for EV charging. DTE's business customers can also receive incentives of $2,500 per port and $20,000 per charger when they install Level 2 or DC Fast Chargers.

"We're thankful for the support of the Michigan Public Service Commission as well as auto industry partners and environmental advocacy groups, all of whom share our goal of expanding EV use in Michigan," said Camilo Serna, DTE's vice president of Corporate Strategy. "Customer surveys tell us that more people are likely to use EVs if they can easily obtain chargers and feel confident that they will find locations to charge along their routes. Charging Forward will provide the infrastructure to make drivers feel more secure by removing both these obstacles."

The program will encourage DTE customers to charge their EVs during off-peak hours, which will help spread the demand on the electric grid. The distributed demand is expected to add efficiencies to DTE's electric distribution and put downward pressure on prices, creating a win-win-win opportunity for DTE customers, local economies, and the environment.

"Through collaborative discussions with diverse groups – including DTE, which provided thoughtful insight – the Michigan Public Service Commission was able to develop regulatory policies that will have a positive impact on the use of electric vehicles in Michigan," said Commissioner Norman Saari. "Our state's path forward now is recognized nationwide as fair, reasonable, and progressive."

The Charging Forward program will also help DTE further its understanding of the EV market and its customers, as well as learn how EV increased demand can be used as a tool to provide benefits to all of DTE's customers.

"Charging Forward is a positive step for advancing EV infrastructure in Michigan," said Mike Ableson, vice president of EV Infrastructure for General Motors. "GM congratulates and supports the leadership demonstrated by DTE to help customers realize the benefits of EVs and reduce barriers to EV adoption. The Charging Forward program will help make driving a Chevrolet Bolt or other EVs more convenient than ever before."

Increasing the number of EVs on the road – including in DTE's own fleet – is part of the company's comprehensive vision for clean energy in Michigan. DTE has committed to reducing its carbon emissions by at least 80% by 2040, and these environmental gains will be further advanced with increased EV adoption.

Additionally, DTE has formed partnerships in the public and private sectors to extend charging stations to public areas. As part of the Detroit Mobility Innovation Initiative, DTE will install chargers in public areas such as Detroit's Beacon Park, with future sites under consideration. In addition, DTE has partnered with both GM and Ford in testing tools to enable EV charging features that are grid-friendly.

DTE customers interested in enrolling in or learning more about Charging Forward can visit dteenergy.com/ev (for residents) and dteenergy.com/evbiz (for businesses).

About DTE Energy
DTE Energy (DTE) is a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide. Its operating units include an electric company serving 2.2 million customers in Southeastern Michigan and a natural gas company serving 1.3 million customers in Michigan. The DTE portfolio includes energy businesses focused on power and industrial projects, renewable natural gas, natural gas pipelines, gathering and storage, and energy marketing and trading. As an environmental leader, DTE will reduce carbon dioxide and methane emissions by more than 80 percent by 2040 to produce cleaner energy while keeping it safe, reliable and affordable. DTE is committed to being a force for good in the communities where it serves through volunteerism, education and employment initiatives, philanthropy and economic progress. Information about DTE is available at dteenergy.com, empoweringmichigan.com, twitter.com/dte_energy and facebook.com.

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