Michigan Announces New Funding for Detroit Smart Parking Lab Grant Winners to Diversify Charging Infrastructure

Thursday, August 31, 2023

Governor Whitmer proclaims September as Michigan Mobility Month and celebrates the state’s commitment to creating a safer, more sustainable future for all

LANSING, Mich. – Today, the state of Michigan announced the latest round of grant recipients that will help revolutionize electric vehicle (EV) charging through testing and deployments at the Detroit Smart Parking Lab (DSPL). Three mobility companies – JouleLabs, Kerb-e and Cron AI – will receive a total of $231,767 in total funding through the Michigan Mobility Funding Platform (MMFP) grant program to enable the testing and validation of their mobility solutions.

Grant recipients will aim to diversify charging infrastructure in parking environments while improving accessibility, safety and security with the following programs:

  • JouleLabs will receive $129,827 to deploy a cutting-edge automated and autonomous robotic system for EV charging, which will have a variety of use cases, including supporting ADA parking and charging needs as well as EV charging for fleets.
  • Kerb-e will receive $71,000 to test the design and implementation of its innovative curbside charging solution. Kerb-e’s goal is to make EV charging equitable and ubiquitous within cities, by developing scalable products that fit on any street.
  • Cron AI will receive $30,940 to test and showcase their next generation 3D sensor (lidar) perception software. Utilizing deep learning to deliver previously unseen levels of quality of detection and classification, the company aims to enable autonomy through infrastructure, enhance vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication and improve safety. Vehicle security, pedestrian safety and infrastructure usage analytics are just some of the functions that will be demonstrated.

The latest round of grant recipients have been selected ahead of the state’s celebration of Michigan Mobility Month in September, during which Michigan will celebrate its efforts to create a safer, more sustainable future for all. Through its Office of Future Mobility and Electrification (OFME), Michigan is securing transformational investments and building effective public-private partnerships to develop smart infrastructure and strengthen economic competitiveness in attracting and developing next-generation talent.

“As the state that put the world on wheels, we are committed to leading the future of mobility,” said Governor Whitmer. “During Michigan Mobility Month, we celebrate our efforts to bring manufacturing back home to Michigan from overseas, develop our workforce to meet talent needs, and secure 36,000 auto jobs over the last five years. We are seeing a resurgence of domestic manufacturing, and together we will keep manufacturing batteries, electric vehicles, and so much more right here in Michigan.”

Recognized Leadership in Manufacturing, EV Investments

As the top state in the country for Automotive Manufacturing and EV Industry Investment, according to Business Facilities’ 19th Annual Rankings Report, Michigan has established itself as a leader in national mobility policy conversations through both the Council on Future Mobility and Electrification as well as through the creation of the first five-state compact in the Midwest to focus on EV adoption.

Over the past year, the state has also secured major mobility-focused, multi-billion-dollar investments from world-leading companies in EVs, chips and batteries, including:

  • Ford investing more than $3.5 billion to construct a 2.5 million square foot EV battery manufacturing facility in Marshall, named BlueOval Battery Park Michigan.
  • OurNextEnergy investing $1.6 billion and creating 2,112 jobs to build its first-ever battery manufacturing campus in Van Buren Township. The facility will be one of the few wholly U.S.-owned manufacturers of both LFP and anode-free cells. The project won a Silver Shovel award in June 2023 from Area Development.
  • Toyota North America investing $47.7 million to expand its facility in York Township and launch a new “Driving Possibilities” STEM initiative focused on preparing youth for the careers of tomorrow.
  • Gotion investing $2.36 billion, the biggest-ever economic development project in Northern Michigan, to build its battery component manufacturing facility and create 2,350 good-paying jobs in Big Rapids.
  • European engineering services provider Expleo USA Inc. establishing its first North American research and development facility in Michigan, creating 196 high-wage jobs.
  • Intelligent power management company Eaton expanding in Marshall, Southfield and Canton Township, creating 100 high-wage jobs in mobility and high-tech innovation.

Partnerships Fostering Innovation

Michigan has also supported innovation through unique mobility public-private partnerships that connect the state’s core automotive businesses, higher education and research institutions and the state government, including:

  • Establishing a new public-private partnership and semiconductor center of excellence – the Semiconductor Talent and Automotive Research (STAR) initiative – with semiconductor company KLA, Belgium-based technology innovation hub imec, the University of Michigan, Washtenaw Community College and General Motors.
  • Governor Whitmer joining U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Canadian Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan in May 2023 to announce the first Binational Electric Vehicle Corridor between the U.S. and Canada.
  • Announcing a new grant program and strategic collaboration in June 2023 that will position Michigan as the leading state for outdoor recreation innovation, vehicle technology and sustainability.
  • Governor Whitmer and Ontario Premier Doug Ford establishing a partnership in July 2023 to increase trade, attract investment and encourage job creation while supporting joint initiatives and the creation of new programs for EVs and related supply chains.
  • The state announcing in June 2023 that it is partnering with Daimler Truck North America and DTE Energy to build the Mobility Charging Hub, dubbed the “truck stop of the future.”
  • Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist announcing in April 2023 the state of Michigan and the University of Michigan are building a new University of Michigan Electric Vehicle Center to attract high-tech jobs and investment in the EV industry.
  • Governor Whitmer joining the National Parks Service to launch the National Park Michigan Mobility Challenge (NPMMC) in August 2023 to identify and deploy advanced mobility and electrification technologies in and around four of Michigan’s five National Parks in an effort to attract industry investment and talent from across the nation while improving accessibility and sustainability within Michigan’s National Parks.
  • Governor Whitmer announcing The Fresh Coast Maritime Challenge in April 2023, establishing a dedicated grant program that offers companies the opportunity to apply for assistance that will support the decarbonization and electrification of both marinas and watercraft across the state.

“Recognizing Michigan Mobility Month signifies to the world just how important this industry, the people that are a part of it and the solutions it provides, are to the state and local communities,” said Tim Slusser, the City of Detroit’s Chief of Mobility Innovation. “There are so many incredible activities and events happening in the month of September, attracting global visitors and recognition. It’s only fitting that we celebrate Michigan’s leadership in mobility with this designation.”

Mobility Projects Driving the Future of Mobility

Michigan’s mobility ecosystem has formed many innovative ongoing mobility projects that are pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. For instance, Cavnue is working collaboratively with the state of Michigan in developing a first-of-its-kind connected corridor in Southeast Michigan, bringing together technology and infrastructure to improve safety, congestion and accessibility in the local community. And Electreon is building a public wireless in-road charging system to pilot on a 1-mile section of road in Detroit, which will help to develop best practices framework for wireless electric road system implementation and management in all of Michigan.

“With more than a century of leadership in the mobility industry, Michigan understands the value of continual innovation,” said Justine Johnson, Michigan’s Chief Mobility Officer. “Our state has a strong and diverse network of mobility companies and programs that makes us the perfect partner and home base to innovate.”

All of this investment in the future of mobility is helping Michigan follow its path to carbon neutrality by 2050, which includes implementing a worry-free, statewide EV charging network before 2030. By establishing guide rails for all mobility-related initiatives through its MI Future Mobility Plan and MI Healthy Climate Plan, Michigan is implementing forward-thinking policy that enables transformational research and development work that can’t be done anywhere else. These plans create a stronger state economy through safer, more equitable and environmentally sound transportation for all Michigan residents.

Events Celebrating Michigan Mobility Month

This Michigan Mobility Month, Michigan will celebrate its mobility leadership by welcoming mobility innovators from around the world at the Detroit Auto Show, bringing together iconic mobility brands, industry leaders, enthusiasts, prospective talent and general consumers. Novi will also host The Battery Show, North America’s Largest Advanced Battery Event, where engineers, business leaders, top-industry companies and innovative thinkers will convene to discover ground-breaking products and create powerful solutions for the future. The state is also hosting the A2Tech360 Mobility Summit, a Women in Mobility Happy Hour, a Mobility Meetup, Detroit Homecoming and Grand Rapids Tech Week.

See below a full list of events highlighting Michigan Mobility Month:

To learn more about how Michigan is leading in transportation mobility and electrification, visit www.michiganbusiness.org/mobility.

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit www.MichiganBusiness.org. For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at www.michigan.org. Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.