CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn says $1 million will be spent to establish a network of charging stations for electric vehicles along historic Route 66 through Illinois.
The network will support commuter and tourist driving for the growing electric vehicle (EV) sector.
“We are building a 21st century infrastructure across Illinois and we need to make sure that it is sustainable for future generations,” Quinn said in a statement. “This new project exemplifies Illinois’ place as the innovation capital of the Midwest, with cutting-edge business practices that create jobs and encourage sustainability.”
The state has joined local governments and the private sector to create the Illinois Route 66 Electric Corridor, a partnership that connects communities along the 300-mile stretch from Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River in the Metro East area with a network of high-power EV charging stations. The network will make it possible for EV drivers to travel between Chicago and St. Louis, two of the key urban markets for EVs in the nation.
The cities of Plainfield, Dwight, Pontiac, Normal, Lincoln, Springfield, Carlinville and Edwardsville will each install one or more fast charging stations that are easily accessible from historic Route 66, allowing EV drivers to retrace its original pathway. Each of the seven charging points in the network will include one fast charging station capable of charging vehicles with either CHAdeMO or SAE connectors within 15-20 minutes and one level 2 (240/120 volt) charging station. Installation of the charging stations will begin this month, with targeted completion by summer 2015.
The project is supported by auto manufacturers, including BMW, Illinois-based Mitsubishi and Nissan, which is contributing the charging station to be installed in Edwardsville.
“The State of Illinois’ Route 66 EV corridor is consistent with Mitsubishi Motors North America’s desire to affect a broader acceptance of EVs through user-friendly infrastructure,” MMNA General Manager of Corporate Communications Dan Irvin said. “It is our belief that projects like this will help our state maximize the possibilities of EVs.”
“Residents and visitors alike will soon be able to enjoy the sites, attractions and mystique of the state’s Historic Route 66 with easy access to charging stations for their electric vehicles,” Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Adam Pollet said. “It’s truly an electrifying addition to the ‘mile after magnificent mile’ to be discovered in Illinois.”
The University of California – Davis, one of the world’s leading universities on sustainable transportation, provided technical assistance for project planning.
“Illinois has one of the better combinations of price and carbon emissions per kilowatt-hour of electricity in the nation,” Gustavo Collantes, with the UC Davis Policy Institute and lead of the Zero Emission MAP initiative, said. “This infrastructure has the clear potential to save drivers money while delivering environmental benefits to the state and the nation.”