Governor Pat Quinn announced a $1 million investment for establishing a network of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations along Route 66 through Illinois.
The State, local governments and private sector entities including automobile companies have teamed up to create a partnership called the Illinois Route 66 Electric Corridor.
This partnership will install a network of high-power EV charging stations connecting communities along the 300-mile section of Route 66 in Illinois that stretches from Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River in the Metro East area.
Once the seven EV changing stations have been installed at cities along the route by summer 2015, the network will make it possible for electric vehicle owners to drive between Chicago and St. Louis, both key urban markets for electric vehicles.
Installation of the EV charging stations has already begun, with the cities of Carlinville, Dwight, Edwardsville, Lincoln, Normal, Plainfield, Pontiac and Springfield as part of the network.
Apart from these cities and the state support, the project is also backed by auto manufacturers including Nissan, BMW and Mitsubishi.
Technical assistance for project planning was provided by the University of California – Davis. UC Davis is one of the world’s leading universities for research and development on sustainable transportation.
In a release announcing the state’s investment in the project, Gov. Quinn said that this project exemplifies Illinois’ place as the Midwest’s innovation capital with cutting-edge business practices that create jobs and encourage sustainability.
Dan Irvin, general manager of Corporate Communications, Mitsubishi Motors North America, said that the State’s Route 66 EV corridor is consistent with MMNA’s desire to affect a broader acceptance of EVs through user-friendly infrastructure.
Irvin added that it is their belief that projects like this will help Illinois maximize the possibilities of electric vehicles.
Gustavo Collantes, assistant director for Energy, Environment and the Economy at the UC Davis Policy Institute, said that Illinois has one of the better combinations of price and carbon-emissions per kwh of electricity. Collantes said that this infrastructure has the clear potential to save drivers money while delivering environmental benefits to Illinois and the nation.
Adam Pollet, director of the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) which handles Illinois economic development efforts and programs, said that 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.