MON AM News: Electric, hybrid vehicle registrations double in less than a decade; More first-year students amid falling UW enrollment

— The number of registrations for electric and hybrid vehicles in Wisconsin more than doubled in less than a decade, according to a new report from the Wisconsin Policy Forum. 

In 2013 — the earliest year such figures are available — there were 44,178 registrations for electric cars and hybrids. But that had jumped to 102,492 by 2021. 

Even with the jump, they still account for just 2 percent of overall registrations, which are 

heavily concentrated in metro areas. 

Dane County leads the way at 389 per 10,000 residents, more than double the statewide mark. Ozaukee, Waukesha, Door and Bayfield counties are next, which WPF says suggests they’re more common in communities with higher per-capita incomes. 

The rise in such registrations presents two challenges, according to the report. One is building infrastructure to recharge electric vehicles. The bipartisan federal infrastructure law signed in November 2021 should help on that front, report authors note. 

The other is the impact on state transportation revenues. The state now adds $100 to the registration fee for electric vehicles and $75 for hybrids, which still cause wear and tear on the roads without making up for it through the fuel taxes other motorists pay.

This trend has been driven largely by hybrid vehicle registrations, with nearly 10 times as many as fully electric vehicles. But WPF found that electric vehicle registrations have been increasing at a faster pace. 

Hybrid vehicle registrations have risen 113.1 percent since 2013, with an average annual increase of 9.9 percent. The biggest annual increase since 2014 was seen in 2021, when hybrid vehicle registrations increased 13.7 percent to 93,453. 

By comparison, the total number of EV registrations is now 27 times larger than in 2013, when the state had just 319 registered, according to the report. That number was near 10,000 in 2021 after the number of EV registrations increased by 51.9 percent on average every year since 2013. 

But despite that growth, they still make up only 0.2 percent of the state’s 5.5 million total passenger vehicle registrations in the state in 2021. 

See the full report:

— Preliminary figures show the number of first-year students increased at the UW System this fall, though overall enrollment dropped by 1 percent to 161,430 students.

Overall fall enrollments have decreased every year since fall of 2014. Excluding the UW-Madison, overall enrollment went down 3 percent.

UW System President Jay Rothman in a call with reporters said the decrease was “not unexpected.”

“The classes that came in in the fall of 2020, classes that came in in the fall of 2021 were coming in during the midst of the pandemic. Those classes by definition were smaller as a result,” Rothman said. “At the same time, we were graduating classes that did come in pre-pandemic which tended to be larger. So I think that really is reflective of the slight decline we saw on an aggregate basis in our enrollment.”

The statistics are based on enrollment on the first day of classes. Final enrollment statistics will be released by the U.S. Department of Education based on enrollment on the 10th day of classes. Numbers can change slightly due to students enrolling later on or ending their studies after the first day of classes.

While most campuses saw a decrease in enrollment, numbers went up at three UW System institutions, including:

*a 5 percent increase at UW-Madison;

*a 3 percent increase at UW-Green Bay; and

*a 4 percent increase at UW-Superior.

This year’s enrollments include 26,442 first-year students, which includes freshmen and first-year transfers. That’s up compared to the 25,869 in fall 2021, and it’s the highest since at least 2018.

See the data:

See the release:

— The Wisconsin North Central Minority Supplier Development Council is getting $1.61 million in federal funding to establish a new minority business development center in the state.

That’s according to a release from U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin. The Madison Dem says this funding for the new center will help “build a stronger and more diverse small business economy in Wisconsin.” The funding comes from the U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency. 

See the release: 

— The Department of Natural Resources has announced Fincantieri Marinette Marine as the latest participant in the agency’s Green Tier program. 

Being a Tier 1 participant entails committing to an environmental management system, according to the DNR. Some of the facility’s environmental goals include lowering energy and water consumption and boosting environmental awareness among employees. 

Fincantieri Marinette Marine is part of the Fincantieri Marine Group, which is the U.S. division of the Italian shipbuilding company Fincantieri. 

See the release: 

— Federal officials will be providing the state with nearly $17 million as part of a $1.5 billion funding package aimed at combating the opioid epidemic. 

The White House on Friday announced the funding, which includes about $16.9 million for the state Department of Health Services. The administration’s fact sheet also includes a breakdown of Tribal Opioid Response Grant awards for fiscal year 2022, which includes funds going to six tribal groups in Wisconsin. 

These include: $150,000 for the Sokaogon Chippewa Community in Crandon; $475,000 for the Oneida Tribe of Wisconsin in Oneida; $238,701 for the Stockbridge-Munsee Community in Bowler; $249,900 for the Lac Courte Oreilles Tribal Government in Hayward; $500,000 for the St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin in Webster; and $249,991 for the Forest County Potawatomi Community in Crandon. 

The funding for DHS comes from the State Opioid Response Grant program, an effort of the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. 

DHS spokeswoman Jennifer Miller says most of the funding will go to existing projects addressing the opioid crisis in the state. That includes efforts to expand access to medications for treatment of opioid use disorder, as well as other prevention, harm reduction and treatment for this and other concurrent substance use disorders. 

The funding is for two years and goes through September 2024, she explained. 

“We are very grateful for these additional funds to allow us to continue to assist Wisconsin residents with opioid use disorder. their loved ones, and their communities,” Miller said in an email. 

See more details on the funding: 

— The Medical College of Wisconsin has announced a new suicide prevention research program funded through a $5 million donation from philanthropist Billie Kubly. 

According to an MCW release, Kubly and her late husband Dr. Michael Kubly have “a long history of advocacy and philanthropy” aimed at reducing stigma around mental health treatment. 

The latest gift will establish the Dr. and Mrs. Michael C. Kubly Community-Based Suicide Prevention Research Program. It will be split into two endowed funds, one of which supports a named faculty position to coordinate research and community programs. The other will fund this work along with staffing, program development and more. 

Previous gifts to the college established the Charles E. Kubly Chair in Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine and supported families with young children who needed mental health services, the release shows. 

MCW notes suicide rates in Wisconsin rose 40 percent from 2000 to 2017, with greater numbers seen among veterans and people living in urban counties. 

“The pandemic has highlighted the prevalence of mental health issues in our community,” said Dr. Jon Lehrmann, MD, the current Charles E. Kubly Chair in Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine. “The truth is that these conditions were already growing before the spread of COVID-19 and require an urgent community response.”

See the release: 

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# Newly opened Edessa School of Fashion in Wisconsin takes on New York Fashion Week

# Head of Monona’s chamber of commerce says he was fired without notice

# Feeling more pain: Health care systems face painful decisions to resuscitate finances



– Warrens Cranberry Festival to celebrate another harvest


– Despite pending closures, branches important for Associated Bank, CEO says

– Associated Bank CEO on new $10 million partnership with Milwaukee Rep


– Kenosha starts construction on fiber optic network project

– Committee will review proposal to start commercial construction before local approval of plans

– Heavy lifting starts soon for Iron District


– Zimmermans, Sabel to earn honorary FFA membership


– Black women artists speak out about what they say is a lack of support in Madison

– Mike’s back: Former UW band director Leckrone to perform at Overture


– Federal grant of nearly $1.3 million for new Kettle Moraine State Forest visitor center


– Streetwise: This Green Bay coffee shop aims for authentic flavor, drinks


– UW-Madison studying ‘magic mushroom’ drug to treat opioid, meth addiction


– Man charged after cashing $29,000 in payment for construction he failed to complete


– What’s real and what’s fiction in the ‘Dahmer’ series on Netflix


– Michels: Would sign abortion ban with rape/incest exceptions

– U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin presses Hufcor owner to pay Janesville workers’ severances


– Housing First program has helped more than 1,600 people, many of whom were homeless

– AEG confirms its involvement in proposed Iron District music venue

– Michigan firm pays over $146 million for more than 20 mobile home parks in Wisconsin


– SiFi Networks will build $100 million fiber optic network in Kenosha


– Madison-based group to operate The Trade hotel’s rooftop restaurant


– WisDOT seeks public input for final design phase of Twin Cities-Milwaukee-Chicago passenger rail project

– Use of electric and hybrid vehicles in Wisconsin has grown significantly, but still less than 2% of state total


<i>See these and other press releases: </i>

Dept. of Natural Resources: Welcomes Fincantieri Marinette Marine to Wisconsin’s Green Tier Program

UW-Oshkosh: Future of Education event set for Oct. 11 at UWO’s welcome center