2 new EV charging stations on Belle Isle are part of larger plan for state parks

Posted at 6:09 AM, Jun 07, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-07 06:58:47-04

(WXYZ) — If you drive an electric vehicle, you're about to have more places to charge up while visiting state parks throughout Michigan.

On Belle Isle, there are now two EV charging stations, the first at state parks in southeast Michigan, with a plan to have more by the end of the year.

Glen Ryder, who goes for a jog on Belle Isle every day, said the new charging stations are a great idea on the island.

"I thought about an electric vehicle but it just kind of concerned me. I don’t want to get trapped somewhere and I really can’t charge up the vehicle," Ryder said.

It's a common concern among those looking to make the switch from a gas-powered car to electric, and it's something the state knows.

Chuck Allen, Michigan DNR 01:00:15

“You can spend as little as ten minutes charging your vehicle there," Chuck Allen from the Michigan DNR said.

Allen said drivers have to pay to use the two fast-charging stations outside of the nature center. However, the other five charging stations – one at Bay City State Park and four at Holland State Park – are free to use. The idea is to charge up and enjoy nature.

"So whether it is going to the beach, hiking the trails, just kind of hanging out, whatever it is, camping, they have time," Allen said.

In all, 18 state parks in Michigan will have EV charging stations by the end of the year, including ones along the Lake Michigan coast, the I-75 corridor and in Northeast Michigan along Lake Huron. The hope is to sway more drivers to make the switch.

Allen also said that through partnerships and grants, it doesn't cost the DNR or state taxpayers anything to install the charging stations.