Electric Education: Chicago Drives Electric Event Debuts

OAK BROOK, Illinois — This weekend, the Chicago Automobile Trade Association will host the first-ever Chicago Drive Electric Event at Oak Brook Terrace.

This is a kind of car show aimed at educating the public about electric cars.

Electric vehicle purchases are encouraged by both the state of Illinois, which offers rebates, and the federal government, which offers tax credits.

As of this month, Illinois has 50,994 EVs licensed. The state’s goal is to have 1 million vehicles on the road by 2030.

Both the automotive industry and public infrastructure are changing to accommodate the EV push.

This week, the Biden administration approved electric vehicle charging plans for all 50 states, including the Illinois EV Plan, which creates charging corridors on the state’s major highways with the goal of placing chargers every 50 miles. did.

Sylvia Garcia is Director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

“The plan just got approved this week. It’s $149 million over five years,” she said.

Building the charging station will require the cooperation of three state agencies—the Department of Commerce, the EPA, and the Department of Transportation—as well as the state’s two largest utility companies, Ameren and Commonwealth Edison.

“Both submitted to ensure we have one of the most reliable networks/grids in the country,” said Garica. “We want it to continue and allow them to support the electrification of all this.”

Currently, the median range of an EV is 250 miles, but Jenni Newman, editor-in-chief of, said the EV market is being held back by “range anxiety.”

“Many of these cars have a range well over 200 miles, but what you need to know is that the cold weather affects range, especially here in Chicago. When it’s cold, it can drop up to 40%,” she said.

Energy industry research analyst Sam Abuelsamid says it will take two to three years to build a reliable and accessible charging infrastructure. He predicts that by the end of the decade, just 10% of U.S. cars will be electric.

“We’re not going to replace every gas car overnight,” he said. “They will be with us for a long time to come. It will take decades to replace that fleet.”

“The Chicago Drive Electric Event is free and open to the public. It runs until Sunday here in Oak Brook, and anyone who shows up will speak to industry professionals who are truly plugged in. can do. Electric Education: Chicago Drives Electric Event Debuts

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