DEARBORN, Mich. – Dearborn is partnering with AAW Infrastructure Partners, L3C to launch an innovative program designed to give the City the means to purchase electric vehicles (EVs) and charging stations in the future, Mayor John B. O’Reilly, Jr. announced.
Mayor O’Reilly is embarking on the partnership with AAW because it follows a similar successful model AAW previously administered, one which resulted in the installation of energy-efficient lighting and EV charging stations in Dearborn parking lots and structures.
AAW raises funds through “hybrid” advertising-sponsorship arrangements with businesses, organizations and individuals, and applies those funds to energy-efficient projects that save money for cities. In turn, AAW promotes the advertisers-sponsors, encouraging customer traffic and sales.
Furthermore, AAW representatives encourage advertisers-sponsors to take advantage of free energy assessments from DTE Energy to help them reduce their energy costs and save money.
A full launch of the program is expected in May.
The Royal Oak-based AAW Infrastructure Partners, L3C calls its project the EV-Mobility and Economic Stimulus program.
Mayor O’Reilly is supportive of the initiative.
“This innovative program is structured to provide us the money to buy electric vehicles, which cost more than traditional gas-powered vehicles. The funds we receive from the program will mean that we can promote energy-efficiency in our fleet, but without any additional cost to our taxpayers,” said Mayor O’Reilly. “It is in line with our commitment to sustainability.”
The program also has a component to generate money that could eventually be directed to a transportation program for mobility-challenged residents, according to AAW Infrastructure Partners. The intent would be to serve senior citizens, veterans and others, and provide transportation to medical appointments and other essential errands.
Mayor O’Reilly supports that goal as well. “In the long run, we should save money operating electric vehicles, and that money can be added to AAW program donations to subsidize mobility on demand rides,” he said.
“Of course, we are thrilled Dearborn is moving forward with our initiative,” stated Thomas A. Wither, Founding Member and CEO of AAW Infrastructure Partners, L3C.
“Once again, Mayor O’Reilly has demonstrated visionary leadership and we look forward to working with him on this ‘game-changing’ project,” Wither said.
David Norwood, the Sustainability Coordinator for the City of Dearborn, said the energy optimization aspect of this program is appealing.
“Because AAW also donates LED lights to offset the electricity needed for charging our new EVs, Dearborn will be establishing a carbon-neutral, EV charging network,” Norwood said.
Another aspect of the program is marketing for businesses that sponsor the AAW initiative. “The economic stimulus feature of digital marketing coupons to drive customers to sponsoring Dearborn businesses is affordable, even for our smallest businesses and startups,” said Cristina Sheppard-Decius, East & West Dearborn Downtown Development Authorities, Executive Director.