Michigan offers funds for alternative energy vehicles

CLEAN VEHICLES: Michigan is spending $30 million to help public agencies and private businesses buy low-emission freight trucks, buses, tugboats and cargo handling equipment. Beneficiaries of the program can choose electric, alternative fuel or new diesel models. The Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy, Clean Fuels Michigan based in Lansing and Mass Transportation Authority of Flint and Genesee County and the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority.explain. By Kyle Davidson. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, DETROIT, CORP! AND ALL POINTS.

Advancements in electric buses making green transit more accessible

ELECTRIC BUSES: More public transit systems and school districts are acquiring, or at least considering, electric buses to replace their polluting diesel fleet. Technology has improved electric buses since Traverse City’s troubled experiment with a hybrid electric 15 years ago. Federal lawmakers, including U.S. Reps. Levin and Tlaib are backing legislation to help fund the switch. We talk to Benzie Transport, MDOT and KALAMAZOO PUBLIC SCHOOLS. Clare County Transit and the Capital Area Transit Authority have received federal grants. By Chloe Traofatter. FOR BENZIE COUNTY, CLARE COUNTY, LANSING CITY PULSE, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, TRAVERSE CITY, MANISTEE AND ALL POINTS.

Skilled worker shortage leads to efforts to strengthen future workforce

TRADES: The Michigan construction and manufacturing industries already face a shortage of skilled workers, and that shortage is likely to worsen. Associated Builders and Contractors West Michigan chapter, Downriver Career Technical Consortium and Michigan Workforce Development Institute talk about efforts to attract more young people to the skilled trades for well-paying jobs. Includes references to Grand Rapids, Muskegon, Saginaw, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Flat Rock, Madison Heights and Detroit. For news and business sections. By Kristia Potsema. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, CORP!, DETROIT, HOLLAND, LUDINGTON, MANISTEE, GREENVILLE, IONIA, MONROE AND ALL POINTS.

Energy-intensive industries work toward smaller carbon footprint

ENERGY-INTENSIVE INDUSTRIES: Industries in Michigan that use lots of energy in manufacturing face challenges in achieving environmental sustainability, a major goal of the Whitmer administration. We talk to the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy, as well as representatives of the automotive, steel, cement and chemical industries. By Brandon Chew. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, CORP!, DETROIT, AND ALL POINTS.

Electric vehicle charging station in Norway, Dickinson County.

State promotes more electric car charging stations in UP

U.P. CHARGING STATIONS: A new report from the UP Energy Task Force urges state support to expand charging stations for electric vehicles, a goal endorsed by the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy and the state Office of Future Mobility and Electrification. It fits with the Biden administration’s new infrastructure proposal that includes creation of a national network of charging stations. By Elaine Mallon. FOR MARQUETTE, BAY MILLS, SAULT STE. MARIE, ST. IGNACE, CHEBOYGAN AND ALL POINTS.

More convenient two-year auto registrations may be on the horizon

REGISTRATION RENEWALS: Lawmakers want an option for motorists to renew their registrations every two years instead of annually – more convenient for drivers but costing the state millions of dollars earmarked for State Police traffic safety and training programs and Secretary of State administrative expenses. The Secretary of State supports the proposal but wants changes to deal with implementation costs and lost revenue. The lead sponsor, from Wayland, explains. The Farm Bureau backs it. Co-sponsors include lawmakers from Three Rivers, Monroe, Harbor Springs, Hillsdale, McBain, Iron Mountain and Detroit. By Eric Freedman. FOR HOLLAND, MONROE, HILLSDALE, PETOSKEY, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, HARBOR SPRINGS, DETROIT, BIG RAPIDS, CADILLAC, THREE RIVERS, STURGIS, MARQUETTE, SAULT STE. MARIE, MICHIGAN FARM NEWS AND ALL POINTS.

COVID shutdown cuts crashes and road repairs, but more people die

COVID ROADS: Perhaps Michigan’s white-tailed deer population is one of the few winners of the pandemic. As traffic dropped during the COVID-19 shutdown, police reported fewer vehicle collisions with wildlife. People didn’t fare nearly as well. While fewer total car crashes were reported, they were deadlier as drivers drove faster and used their seatbelts less, state officials say. Also taking a road-related COVID-19 hit: tax revenues that finance road repairs.
Here’s a look at some of the consequences of the pandemic on Michigan’s highways. By Capital News Service. FOR ALL POINTS.

Export controls, U.S.-China trade relationship, affect Michigan technology goods

Michigan high-tech exports — which make up 1.1% of the U.S. total— may be subject to government controls partly due to international trade conflicts with the state’s third-biggest export market, China. Congress passed the Export Control Reform Act last year to regulate the transfer of specified technologies, information and services from the U.S., including artificial intelligence and machine learning technology, robotics, advanced computing technology and advanced surveillance technologies. A U-M economist and a Lansing trade lawyer explain. For business and news sections. By Mila Murray.