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Gov. Whitmer releases grants to accelerate electric vehicle investments

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Posted: Sep 15, 2021 / 12:25 PM EDT Updated: Sep 15, 2021 / 12:25 PM EDT

FLINT, Mich (WLNS) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announces the first round of Michigan Mobility Funding Platform grants.

Five mobility companies including MUVE, Airspace Link, KUHMUTE, GreenRoute and Michigan Flyer received more than $444,000 in funding to deploy mobility pilots that alleviate mobility barriers and assist accelerating electric vehicle adoption.  

 “These grants are securing a foundation for mobility companies across the state that builds on our reputation as a global leader in testing and deployment of future mobility solutions, but also create a runway to future growth and jobs right here in Michigan. These five companies will help bring Michigan closer to our goal of providing sustainable, equitable and accessible transportation options for all residents, and I’m confident this technology will have a lasting positive impact on our communities.”  

Governor, Gretchen Whitmer

The first round of grants awards $440,000 to five deployments that aim to accelerate investment in mobility and electrification, while supporting high potential mobility and electrification companies.

The Michigan Mobility Funding platform was launched by the Office of Future Mobility and Electrification, in partnership with the the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Michigan Department of Transportation. This was launched to provide grants to mobility and electrification companies looking to deploy their technology solutions in the state of Michigan. 

“Michigan entrepreneurs and innovators are leading the way in mobility and electrification transportation solutions that will have an impact around the globe, while creating economic opportunity here in the state. We are excited to be able to support these deployments through a commitment to public/private partnerships as we continue to make Michigan a state where mobility solutions are born.”  

Trevor Pawl, Chief Mobility Officer with the Office of Future Mobility and Electrification

The Michigan Mobility Funding Platform wants to improve and expand on the success from an earlier mobility initiative: the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

The primary goal of the Michigan Mobility Funding Platform is to expand mobility solutions that boost environmental sustainability by integrating more electric vehicle (EV) adoption, avoiding mobility barriers and increasing overall access to cost efficient and dependable transportation options.

A $89,005 grant allowed Multimodal charging hubs to be installed throughout the city of Flint. KUHMUTE, the city of FLint, the Flint DDA and Helbiz encourage the adoption of sustainable first-last mile transit and increase accessibility to public transit and local businesses.

Electric scooters and electric bikes will be able to park and charge at KUHMUTE charging hubs that will be near bus stops, apartments, restaurants and hotels.

“In 2018, we started KUHMUTE to increase accessibility and sustainability for how people move in the ‘first and last mile’ with a charging network for anything smaller than a car. Our team is extremely pleased to be partnering with the community where we started. A charging network that is agnostic to electric scooters, electric bikes, wheelchairs, delivery robots and more enables communities to choose the mode of transportation that is most convenient for their trip and abilities. Providing choices is a powerful way to increase the adoption of the most sustainable forms of mobility, and our team is excited to play a role in this.”  

Peter Deppe, Co-Founder and CEO of KUHMUTE and alumni of Kettering University

Additional Michigan Mobility Funding Platform Grant recipients are: MUVE (Awarded $125,000), Airspace Link (Awarded $125,000), GreenRoute (Awarded $40,000), Michigan Flyer (Awarded $65,000).

MUVE aims to bring more accessibility options to riders, dispatchers and drivers. They also strive to enhance operational efficiency through technology.

Airspace Link will be collaborating with others to transport urgent medical items for improving patient care. They will be focused on how quickly and efficiently patients receive these items they need.

GreenRoute will be working with DTE to provide customers within DTE’s EV Connections Community complimentary access to GreenRoute’s energy-efficient EV routing through an iOS app. The routes are customized and projected to save drivers 15-20 percent in battery consumption.

Michigan Flyer along with its parent company Indian Trails, Inc., and technology partners VIA RIDE and Turnit Reservations will create an API (application programing interface) that enables the reservation systems of different transportation providers to exchange data and coordinate with one another.