Michigan plugs in to plug-ins

MICHIGAN - Michigan utility DTE Energy said U.S. federal stimulus money targeting the plug-in electrical vehicle sector is an incredible opportunity for the state.

The economic collapse of 2008 wreaked havoc on the automotive-dependent economy in Michigan, contributing to an unemployment rate of 14.

7 percent in August.

U.S. President Barack Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 in February, pumping billions of government funds into the economy to stimulate growth.

Knut Simonsen, senior vice president of DTE Energy Resources, said national leaders and business investors would discuss Michigan opportunities at The Business of Plugging In conference in Detroit.

"With Michigan at a crucial crossroad in preparing for the future, plug-in electric vehicles present an incredible opportunity to address climate change, create jobs and capitalize on the new electric automotive industry," he said.

Jon Lauckner, vice president for General Motors Co. Global Program Management, said alternative fuel sources for the automotive sector could only help with a collaborative effort.

"We can only be successful if we know and listen to each other's issues and challenges and find solutions together," he said.


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