Michigan’s automotive industry shifts toward an electric future

With Michigan housing several automotive manufacturing plants, the state looks to expand into the world of vehicle electrification. 

“If we want to continue to expand ourselves as a species, we need another way to power and transport ourselves around, a cleaner more sustainable way of doing it, because we’re just going to run out of gas at some point,” said Steve Radosevich, geometric modeler for Rivian. 

General Motors Co. is one of the manufacturers making Michigan a hub for electric vehicle production. The GM factory in Orion Township is  set to become one of the company’s main electric vehicle manufacturers. The plant, which originally produced Chevrolet Malibus and Pontiac G6s, will now build all-electric trucks. 

GM is also shifting its manufacturing in Detroit. The Detroit-Hamtramck plant, nicknamed “Factory Zero,” will construct electric variants of the Hummer, Sierra, Cruise, and Silverado.

Training needed for car safety features, study says

UNDERSTANDING AUTO TECH: As automakers add more high-tech safety features to their vehicles, some drivers are having difficulty understanding the new car technology and need training, an American Automobile Association study shows. Between 2019-20, total traffic collisions in Michigan dropped 22%, but the number of fatal crashes rose 12%, according to the State Police.We hear from AAA, the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor and AARP. By Jack Falinski. FOR ALL POINTS.

Billboards like this are part of a new statewide public transit advocacy campaign.

New advocacy campaign boosts public transit

ADVOCACY CAMPAIGN:The Michigan Public Transit Association, representing about 50 bus and local transportation agencies, has launched a $400,000 information and advocacy campaign to fill hiring needs and increase ridership. We talk to the association’s executive director, the Bay Area Transit Authority and the Mecosta-Osceola Transit Authority. By Jada Penn. FOR TRAVERSE CITY, LEELANAU, BIG RAPIDS, HERALD-REVIEW and ALL POINTS.

Dial-a-ride services struggle with driver shortage

DIAL-A-RIDE: Small transit systems across the state are shorthanded, with too few drivers and mechanics, and that leaves riders with longer wait times and cancelled routes. We see how Niles Dial-A-Ride Transportation and Marshall Dial-A-Ride are coping and talk to the executive director of the Michigan Public Transit Association. The association posts job openings on its website, such as Michigan Transportation Connection schedulers to arrange rides for non-emergency medical appointments around the state and a mechanic for Allegan County Transportation. By Hope O’Dell. FOR HOLLAND, STURGIS, THREE RIVERS, COLDWATER and ALL POINTS.

CG 40300 works the ice on Lake Michigan around 1970.

Pioneering Coast Guard boat sails onto National Register of Historic Places

COAST GUARD HISTORY: A prototype Coast Guard steel motor lifeboat that spent most of its 39-year official career on Lake Michigan and at Escanaba has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Now moored on Cayuga Lake in New York’s Finger Lakes, Coast Guard motor lifeboat 40300 conducted search-and-rescue operations near the Door Peninsula and at Escanaba’s Aids to Navigation Station, then was used as an Eastern U.P. Transportation Authority utility boat and icebreaker in Sault Ste. Marie. We talk to the owner and a former transportation authority mechanic. By Eric Freedman. FOR SAULT ST. MARIE, MARQUETTE, ST. IGNACE, CHEBOYGAN, BAY MILLS, TRAVERSE CITY, PETOSKEY, HARBOR SPRINGS, LEELANAU, MANISTEE, LUDINGTON, BENZIE COUNTY, OCEANA COUNTY, HOLLAND and ALL POINTS.

Failure of community college access initiative frustrates state officials

COLLEGE TUITION: More than a dozen other states offer universal access to community college, but Michigan, disappointing advocates who say human infrastructure is just as important as roads and bridges. We talk to the Kalamazoo Promise, the Small Business Association of Michigan, and state officials. For news and business pages. By Nicholas Simon. FOR CORP!, LANSING CITY PULSE, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, CORP! and ALL POINTS.

Grant program repels Great Lakes invaders

INVASIVE SPECIES: For most Great Lakes beachgoers, zebra mussels are a minor inconvenience when they step on them. But for boaters and businesses, they can be an expensive problem. They are among the 160 invasive species that state officials are targeting with a new grant program to deter such invaders. By Danielle James. FOR TRAVERSE CITY, PETOSKEY, CADILLAC, CHEBOYGAN, SAULT STE. MARIE, LUDDINGTON, MARQUETTE, ST. IGNACE AND ALL POINTS.

Proposed college equipment fund pushed to address Michigan’s talent problem

EQUIPMENT FUND: Michigan community colleges are pushing for a fund to allow them to buy equipment that they say would bolster a trained and talented workforce with a focus on a new cardiovascular training. There’s interest from community colleges in Lansing, Harrison, Scottville and Grand Rapids. We talk to Michigan Community College Association officials, the Michigan Manufacturers Association and Sen. Kenneth Horn, R-Frankenmuth. By Cameryn Cass. FOR LANSING CITY PULSE, LUDINGTON, MANISTEE, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, CLARE COUNTY CLEAVER, CORP!, LAKE COUNTY and NEWS AND BUSINESS PAGES OF ALL POINTS.

Electric bike sales grew 240% in the past year

ELECTRIC BIKE BOOM: From the streets of the Sugar Hill Arts District in Detroit to downtown Grand Rapids, electric rental bicycles seem almost everywhere. Now bike stores and distributors are experiencing a boom in demand for e-bicycles. We speak with bike shop employees about waiting lists and sales figures. References to stores in Okemos, Grand Ledge, Detroit and Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties. For news, business and outdoors sections. By Elaine Mallon. FOR DETROIT, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, CORP!, LANSING CITY PULSE and ALL POINTS.

Companies team up to support electric vehicle recycling

ELECTRIC VEHICLE RECYCLING: As electric vehicle demands grow, concerns include how to make them more environmentally sustainable. A new project by recycling company Battery Solutions in Wixom and sustainability-focused group NextEnergy in Detroit will make electric vehicle recycling opportunity recommendations to the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy by February. The department gave the project a $50,000 grant. By Chioma Lewis: FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, CORP! DETROIT AND ALL POINTS.