October 20, 2020

Volume X, Number 294

October 19, 2020

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Securing Growth in a Time of Uncertainty: Michigan Formally Launches Office of Future Mobility and Electrification

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, on July 6, 2020 Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the formal launch of the Office of Future Mobility and Electrification (OFME), seeking to secure Michigan’s place as a leader in mobile connectivity. Trevor Pawl will lead the office as chief mobility officer.

The OFME will focus on six objectives:

  1. Enticing new investment and job creation from tech companies focused on the future of the automotive industry—autonomous and electric vehicles;
  2. Expanding Michigan’s smart infrastructure to continue building upon systems designed to facilitate autonomous and shared transportation;
  3. Establishing Michigan as a destination for young companies to start and grow technologies enabling more efficient transportation of people and goods;
  4. Attracting a talented workforce to meet the demands of the mobility sector;
  5. Facilitating the transition from traditional combustion vehicles to electric vehicles while expanding access to charging infrastructure; and
  6. Ensuring the state is competitive in electric and autonomous vehicle manufacturing.

The establishment of the OFME recognizes the need for a comprehensive approach to improving the mobility sector—engaging government, education and the private sector to position Michigan as a destination for the future of transportation. The OFME will establish a strategic policy team to recommend public policy surrounding autonomous and connected vehicle technology, electric vehicles, charging infrastructure and shared transportation.

The OFME will also focus on relationships between Michigan-based auto suppliers, Silicon Valley and other high-tech markets. These relationships are necessary to increase software development opportunities in the state, balancing the manufacturing fabric that is traditionally strong in Michigan.

The establishment of the OFME positions Michigan as a leader in mobility. It also has the potential to play a crucial role in Michigan’s economic recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic by attracting talent, creating jobs and stimulating the state’s economy. 

© 2020 Varnum LLPNational Law Review, Volume X, Number 191


About this Author

John J. Rolecki Litigation Attorney Varnum Grand Rapids, MI

John represents clients in various types of complex commercial litigation and provides counsel on matters including regulatory compliance, licensing and insurance coverage. He has successfully represented clients in a range of litigation including contractual and supply chain disputes, unfair competition, creditors' rights, securities disputes and administrative actions. John's background in complex matters includes bringing cases to summary judgment, trial and courts of appeal in state and federal courts throughout the country.

Practice Areas

  • Insurance
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Jeffrey M. Stefan II Auto and Emerging Technology Attorney Varnum Law Firm

Jeffrey is a technology-focused corporate attorney with broad legal authority in autonomous and connected vehicles. He previously served as autonomous vehicle counsel for a major global automaker providing regulatory counsel and transactional support. Prior to that role, he supported the automaker's emerging technology portfolio, which included connected vehicle services and other advanced safety technologies.

Jeffrey helps his clients navigate the evolving legal and public policy landscape for new and emerging technologies. He additionally focuses on technology startups assisting them through every stage of their development. Jeffrey is also credentialed as an IAPP Certified Information Privacy Professional and his practice covers an array of privacy matters.

In addition to his emerging technology practice, Jeffrey handles a wide range of corporate transactions including mergers and acquisitions, supply chain agreements and other commercial and real estate transactions.

Paul Albarran Litigation Lawyer Varnum Law

Paul works with Varnum's Litigation and Trial Practice Team developing a strong background in mass tort, toxic tort and environmental litigation. He also has experience in multiple aspects of civil and complex commercial litigation, including intellectual property infringement and shareholder oppression matters. 

Additionally, Paul has experience in drafting and helping obtain state-issued licenses under Michigan's Medical Marihuana Facility Licensing Act (MMFLA), along with other matters related to the commercial medical marijuana industry.

Paul's background includes serving...