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As of: 2:27 PM, 9/26/21

Frequently Asked Questions About Electric Vehicles

Electric Vehicle FAQs

You can charge your electric vehicle any time, day or night. However, charging overnight is the best way to take advantage of lower rates and save money, especially if you are on our Nighttime Savers  or Smart Hours rate.
We offer two rates  that can save you money when charging your electric vehicle:

We recommend our Nighttime Savers Rate for EV owners. It offers our lowest rate between the overnight hours of 11pm and 6am, when most EV owners charge their vehicles. It also rewards you with a lower rate if you shift some of your electricity use to the morning or evening hours. Click here to learn more about our Nighttime Savers rate.

Our Smart Hours Rate is also a good way to save money when charging your EV. It also offers a lower rate overnight, evenings and mornings. Click here to learn about our Smart Hours rate.

Simply driving an electric vehicle offers benefits for your wallet, the grid and the environment. To get even more, consider these options:

  • Use a Cost Savings Calculator to compare vehicle types/benefits before you buy
  • Apply for Federal tax incentives up to $7,500 on some vehicles to reduce your upfront cost
  • Explore our PowerMIDrive™ rebates to see if you qualify for a rebate of $500 on the installation of a Level 2 charger at your home
  • Charge your vehicle often so you can avoid fueling up with gasoline
  • Take advantage of public or workplace charging stations
  • Charge your vehicle on renewable energy by using Michigan Renewable Energy Credits

Sign up for time of use rate options to benefit from off peak charging.


Call a licensed electrician to install a NEMA 14-50 outlet in your garage.

Our EV Ready Checklist can help guide you through the process.
The number of public charging stations in Michigan is growing every day. Click here to find a charging station near you.

Rebates FAQs

Yes. Consumer’s Energy created the PowerMIDrive™ program to offer rebates of $500 on the installation of a Level 2 charger at your home, and rebates up to $5,000 and $70,000 on installations of public Level 2 and DC Fast Chargers on commercial properties. See the PowerMIDrive™ program details.

You may also be eligible to receive a federal tax credit of 30% of the cost of purchasing and installing an EV charging station (up to $1,000 for residential installations and up to $30,000 for commercial installations) with the retroactive credit.

Previously, this federal tax credit expired on December 31, 2017, but is now retroactively extended through December 31, 2021.

Click here for the full details the U.S. Department of Energy website.
The PowerMIDrive program was approved by the Michigan Public Service Commission and developed on the premise of creating a managed vehicle charging infrastructure which includes residential, public workplace and public DC Fast charging incentives. In an effort to understand when drivers are charging and the impact of incentives and time of use rates, it was necessary for all stations to have Wi-Fi or cellular connectivity that would enable the collection of anonymous charging data. This will enable us to collect data that will help determine the effectiveness of the program.

Our evaluation of networks and charging station manufacturers is ongoing. So it is likely that we will add additional stations to the authorized list.

Tesla home and public charging stations have not been identified as authorized stations because they can’t collect and share anonymized charging information with a network.

Tesla owners have the ability to purchase one of the authorized residential or public stations that have a J1772 plug and then utilize the [J1772/Tesla] connector that comes standard with Tesla vehicles.

Electric Vehicle Charging Plugs 

 

Using the adapter is a seamless approach to participate in the rebate program, while increasing your ability to monitor and manage your vehicle charging through the Chargepoint mobile app.


Due to the charging station connectivity requirements of the PowerMIDrive program, residential customers must have Wi-Fi connectability in their home. Due to the continuous data collection and interaction between the charging station, network and mobile app, the use of a wireless device or mobile hot spot would not be an approved source for Wi-Fi access.

All residential customers should review the program guidelines to ensure they, and the equipment they choose, are eligible for the rebate. If you have questions, please email the PowerMIDrive team at PowerMIDrive@cmsenergy.com or call us at 877-904-8246.

Customers interested in public station rebates should be aware that applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis and evaluated against many factors. Since it is our goal to extend electric vehicle infrastructure across the state, applications may be reviewed multiple times prior to being accepted or denied, so we can ensure infrastructure availability expands as efficiently as possible.

Customers that are not participating in the rebate program do have the ability to use any of our rates, including our Nighttime Savers Rate or Smart Hours Rate that lower the cost of vehicle charging during off peak periods. Customers can contact the PowerMIDrive team at PowerMIDrive@cmsenergy.com or call 877-904-9246 to request the rate change.

Customers who have reviewed the guidelines and feel they will not qualify because they don’t have an approved charging station are still encouraged to submit an application. We are continuing to evaluate options that would enable additional chargers to be added to the authorized list, (including Tesla). If a customer is initially declined a rebate and their station is later approved in the program, Consumers Energy will contact the customer. In addition, this provides a means for us to evaluate the effectiveness of the program and what is and is not working.

Types of Electric Vehicles

Electric Vehicles use only electricity to power the vehicle. All the electricity comes from an electric charging source and regenerative braking (using the vehicle’s kinetic energy to recharge the battery). Examples of EVs include the Chevrolet Bolt, Ford Mach-e, Ford F-150 Lightning, and all Tesla and Rivian models. There continue to be many different EV choices coming to market over the next few years.
Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles use both gasoline and electricity. These vehicles have two power systems, an internal combustion engine and a battery. The battery can be recharged by plugging the vehicle into an external source. It also gains some charge through regenerative braking. Although vehicle technologies vary, PHEVs are charged by plugging in and through regenerative braking. Examples of PHEVs include the Chevrolet Volt, Ford Fusion Energi and Toyota Prius Prime.
Hybrid Electric Vehicles combine conventional internal combustion engine systems with electric propulsion systems. They use regenerative braking to convert energy that is normally wasted during braking/coasting into electricity. This electricity is stored in a battery until it’s needed by the electric motor. Examples of HEVs on the market today include the Toyota Prius and others.
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Questions About Your EV?

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EV Ready Checklist


Before you pull up in your electric vehicle, make sure your home is ready.

Get Plug-In Ready Get Plug-In Ready