Michigan Legislature Paving the Way for Electric Mobility with SB 501 and HB 5028

June 25, 2024

In a significant stride towards promoting clean mobility, the Michigan Legislature has passed two pivotal bills, SB 501 introduced by Senator Camilleri, and HB 5028 introduced by Representative Puri. These legislative measures are set to bolster the state’s clean mobility sector by fostering the adoption of electric vehicles, allowing homeowners to benefit from EV ownership, and enhancing the efficiency of freight transportation. 

SB 501: A Boost for Electric Semi-Trucks

SB 501 introduces a critical amendment to Michigan’s Vehicle Code by allowing a 2,000-pound weight extension for electric semi-trucks. This adjustment aligns state law with federal regulations and existing allowances for liquified natural gas (LNG) fueled trucks. Though still a nascent technology, electric semi-trucks hold substantial potential in increasing freight transportation efficiency. Electric semis are an integral alternative to achieve the state’s transportation decarbonization goals outlined in the MI Healthy Climate Plan. 

Freight transportation is a cornerstone of Michigan’s economy. The Michigan Department of Transportation’s 2024 “Fast Facts” reports that over 530 million tons of freight, valued at approximately $796 billion, travel using the state’s infrastructure annually. Trucks carry 74% of this freight, underscoring their dominance in Michigan’s freight sector. Additionally, Michigan is home to two of the three busiest truck ports between the US and Canada. By providing a modest weight exemption, SB 501 aims to make electric semis a viable alternative to traditional semi trucks for Michigan’s robust trucking sector.  

A focus on medium- and heavy-duty vehicle decarbonization is essential due to the outsized impact of emissions from these vehicles. Despite only making up less than 10% of vehicles on the road, medium- and heavy-duty vehicles contributed 23% of greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector in 2022. SB 501 aims to mitigate this by promoting the use of electric semi-trucks, which produce no tailpipe emissions, offering a cleaner alternative to diesel-powered trucks. The weight exemption afforded to electric semis in this bill is crucial because electric semi-trucks are heavier than their diesel counterparts due to the weight of the batteries, an essential component for providing the range required for long-haul transportation. By granting a 2,000-pound weight exemption, SB 501 ensures that electric semi-trucks remain competitive with traditional trucks, facilitating their adoption by fleet operators.

SB 501 positions Michigan as a leader in sustainable freight transportation, aligning with global trends toward electrification and reducing the transportation sector’s carbon footprint. In addition to moving Michigan closer to achieving its transportation decarbonization goals, this bill encourages the growth of the clean mobility sector by creating a market for innovative electric semi-truck technologies and supporting businesses involved in this cutting-edge industry.

HB 5028: Empowering Homeowners for a Clean Mobility Future

House Bill 5028 addresses another critical aspect of EV adoption by prohibiting Homeowners Associations (HOAs) from restricting the installation of energy efficiency technologies, including EV chargers, on their property. This bill ensures all Michigan homeowners can equip their properties with EV charging infrastructure.

The rise in EV sales underscores the growing consumer demand for electric vehicles. J.D. Power reported a two-thirds increase in EV sales in the United States in 2022, with EVs accounting for 5.8% of all new vehicle sales. This trend is expected to continue as automakers expand their EV offerings. At-home charging is fundamental to the EV ownership experience. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, at least 80% of EV charging occurs at home. This convenience allows EV owners to charge their vehicles overnight, reducing the need for public charging stations.

HB 5028 aligns with growing consumer needs, removing barriers for homeowners and enhancing the practicality of owning an EV in Michigan. By enabling easy access to at-home charging, the bill supports the broader transition to electric mobility, contributing to reduced emissions, a cleaner environment, and stimulating demand for home EV charging equipment.

Contributing to Michigan’s Clean Mobility Future

SB 501 and HB 5028 represent a comprehensive approach to fostering electric mobility in Michigan. By facilitating the adoption of electric semi-trucks and ensuring homeowners can install EV chargers, these bills address commercial and personal transportation needs, while supporting environmental sustainability and driving innovation and economic growth in Michigan. By creating a conducive environment for EV adoption and supporting the related industry growth, these bills help position Michigan at the forefront of the transition to clean mobility.

Clean Fuels Michigan applauds the Michigan Legislature for its vision and dedication to a cleaner, more prosperous future for all Michiganders. Michigan’s commitment to clean transportation through these policies is a testament to the state’s forward-thinking approach, fostering innovation, supporting local businesses, and ensuring that Michigan remains a leader in the clean mobility sector.