Wisconsin is helping create a 1,100-mile EV route along Lake Michigan

Last updated on August 8th, 2022 at 01:03 pm

Wisconsin, along with three other midwestern states, has entered into an agreement to begin a collaborative project that will create a route for electric vehicles stretching along 1,100 miles of drivable shoreline around Lake Michigan.

Described as an electric Route 66, the Lake Michigan EV Circuit Tour will be a scenic route that includes vehicle charging options along the Lake Michigan coastline. The route will include charging stations at coastal communities, lighthouses, and tourism attractions, such as state parks, hospitality locations, breweries, vineyards, restaurants, and other small businesses.

The new chargers will be tied together with existing charging infrastructure networks at large entertainment attractions in population centers along the route, such as Green Bay, Milwaukee, Chicago, and Traverse City, Michigan.

Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan will work together to build, maintain and encourage use of the EV route. A total of 360 miles of the route will be in Wisconsin, 620 will be in Michigan, 70 in Illinois and 50 in Indiana.

A map of the EV Circuit Tour.

“Making our beautiful coastal communities not only more accessible to EVs but protecting them through lower emissions is a win-win for Wisconsin,” said Gov. Tony Evers in a statement. “We’re proud to support this multi-state partnership as we work to implement our first-ever Clean Energy Plan and continue our efforts to bolster Wisconsin’s tourism industry.”

Wisconsin is expecting funding for the route from the Federal Highway Administration National Electric Vehicle Initiative (NEVI). These funds were included the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to help states create networks of EV charging stations.

State officials declined to specify the expected cost of the EV Circuit Tour, but did say the final cost will depend on the type of chargers to be installed in specific locations as the cost on chargers varies.

Many of the route’s chargers are already operable today. State officials expect the EV Circuit Tour to be completed within the next few years.

Ashley covers startups, technology and manufacturing for BizTimes. She was previously the managing editor of the News Graphic and Washington County Daily News. In past reporting roles, covering education at The Waukesha Freeman, she received several WNA awards. She is a UWM graduate. In her free time, Ashley enjoys watching independent films, tackling a new recipe in the kitchen and reading a good book.

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