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Michigan grants $500K for electric boat charging solutions

Michigan Tech will study how far boaters can travel from their home docks before needing to recharge

The state of Michigan has granted more than a half-million dollars to six projects for electric chargers for boats.

The grants were announced earlier in August by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and first reported by The Center Square. They represent another effort by the state, under Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, to prop up the infrastructure for electric vehicles.

Whitmer wants two million electric vehicles on Michigan roads by 2030. She secured $113 million from Michigan legislators to expand charging resources ($65 million) and offer tax and fee breaks for EV buyers ($48 million over two years). In addition, Michigan was granted $110 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation to install 127 EV chargers, at a cost of $866,000 per installed charger.

Now Michigan is building out the charging infrastructure for electric boats, by way of what officials call the “Fresh Coast Maritime Challenge,” which kicked off in April. Its goal is to “put Michigan at the forefront of future-proofing sustainable maritime transportation.”

Six projects received grant funds from the state. The MEDC announces them as follows:

  • Arc, a California-based electric boat manufacturer will receive $20,000 to conduct technology demos and demonstrate the disruptive potential of high-performance electric boats. It will partner with local organizations, businesses, and universities to create public events and explore growth opportunities for electric boating in Michigan.
  • Aqua superPower will receive $111,000 to install fast marine chargers and conduct technology demos at Michigan-based marinas, including Duncan Clinch Marina in Traverse City, the Village of Charlevoix Marina and Harbor Springs. The company currently has chargers at the Elk Rapids Marina and the Village of Northport already available for use.
  • Hercules Electric Mobility will receive $75,000 to develop boats with high-power electric powertrains. Hercules will also conduct user demonstrations and data collections on consumer acceptance of electric boating and charging with mobile marine charging systems, which are 100% recyclable.
  • Lilypad Labs, a Michigan-based startup, will receive $135,000 to deploy highly accessible, solar-powered watercraft for public use at marinas and resorts across Northwest Michigan, starting with a deployment at Fountain Point Resort on Lake Leelanau.
  • Michigan Technological University will receive $50,000 for its faculty and students to create a playbook in partnership with local utilities and marinas that will determine how far individuals can travel from their home docks, the optimal distance between charging stations, charging times and costs, as well as how much electrical energy is needed to support a specific number of chargers.
  • Voltaic Marine, Inc., an Oregon-based startup developing high-performance electric water sports boats, will receive $115,000 to explore and develop Michigan-based strategies focused on advanced manufacturing, battery chemistry, propulsion and emerging technology job creation, while demonstrating its flagship model, the AEW24, in Northwest Michigan.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.