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November 18, 2011

Electric vehicle charging stations come to Macomb County

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Electric vehicle charging stations come to Macomb County
Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel demonstrates how to use the two new free electric car charging stations that are located in the parking lot of the Macomb County Administration Building in downtown Mount Clemens.

MACOMB COUNTY — Electric vehicles are the wave of the future, and Macomb County is making sure it’s ahead of the tide.

In the past several weeks, four electric vehicle charging stations have been installed in two different locations in Macomb County.

Two have been put in the parking lot of the Macomb County Administration Building, located at 1 S. Main Street in downtown Mount Clemens.

According to Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel, the stations were paid for by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy through DTE Energy and General Motors. Patrons will be able to pull up to the stations and access the chargers for free as they go about their business locally.

“We need to make opportunities available for people who are going to do business in Mount Clemens,” said Hackel.

Hackel added that it made sense to allow the chargers to be installed because manufacturing and defense industries are a huge part of the economic vitality of Macomb County.

“We viewed it as a very simple connection with the auto industry,” he said. “(It’s a) great symbol of that partnership between public and private (sectors).”

Additionally, The Mall at Partridge Creek recently installed two electric vehicle charging stations at the mall.

Located at the front entrance of the north end of the mall in front of Brio, the stations were installed just a few weeks ago to accommodate those who need to charge up their electric vehicles while shopping. The service is free.

“We wanted to add another amenity to the center, and we thought offering that to our customer was a service. It was something we wanted to,” said Steve Berlow, general manager of the mall.

Currently, patrons need to go to the customer service desk in the center court of the mall to get assistance with using the chargers. However, Berlow said soon the mall will offer shoppers cards that will allow direct access to the devices.

CarPlug, a division of LaBelle Electric, which is based in Macomb Township, installed the chargers.

Berlow said it was important for the mall to use LaBelle Electric to get the work done.

“We really like to work and partner with as many local businesses as we can. … There’s that synergy together,” he said.
 

— Sarah Cormier