The governors of five Great Lakes states have agreed to collaborate on the development and installation of electric vehicle charging infrastructure to help accelerate vehicle electrification across the Midwest.
A memorandum of understanding signed last week by the leaders of Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota pledges a coordinated effort to optimize charging infrastructure, standardize regulatory schemes, and develop a common customer charging experience.
The nonbinding agreement also calls for shared efforts to advance clean energy and mobility manufacturing, grow the region's share of electric vehicle production, and train workers for the electric vehicle jobs of today and tomorrow.
"As the Crossroads of America, transportation plays a vital role in Indiana's economic success and continued growth," said Gov. Eric Holcomb, a Republican.
"I'm proud to partner with our neighboring states to put the Midwest region on the leading edge of providing the charging infrastructure needed to future-proof our transportation network and meet the demand as rapid adoption of electric vehicles continues."
An estimated 105,000 new utility sector jobs are expected to be needed to deploy electric vehicle charging infrastructure by 2030.
The agreement calls for initially focusing on the installation of publicly accessible charging facilities near interstate and regionally significant commercial corridors to help maintain the Midwest's existing role as a shipping and logistics hub.
The governors expect expanded electric vehicle use also will help reduce pollution in communities located along transportation corridors, especially historically disadvantaged groups that have been harmed by vehicle emissions and their negative environmental impacts.
"Illinois' Climate and Equitable Jobs Act puts us on track to be the best state in the nation to manufacture and drive an electric vehicle — but we’re just getting started, and the work doesn't stop at our state borders," said Gov. JB Pritzker, a Democrat.
"By working together with our Midwestern neighbors, we can accelerate the region's growth in the transportation sector, create jobs across our communities, and prioritize the environment that makes the Great Lakes region so great along the way."
Under the agreement, a task force of senior leaders from each state must regularly meet to identify barriers to vehicle electrification and develop recommendations for overcoming them.