IGEN Community Colleges to Conduct Electric Vehicle Road Trip to Celebrate Network Successes in Advancing EV Infrastructure
The Illinois Electric Vehicle Road Trip was created and organized by the Illinois Green Economy Network and executed with support from the Office of Governor Quinn, the Lieutenant Governor's Office, the Illinois Office of Tourism, Nissan, Chargepoint and Green Wheels USA, as well as faculty from multiple community colleges across the state.
The EV road trip journey started at the southernmost community college with a charging station and proceeded over the course of three days to the northernmost equipped community college. Along the route, it made stops at 10 community colleges and the Governor's Mansion in Springfield. Accompanied the entire way by "Mini Abe" of the Illinois Tourism Bureau, crews of drivers staffed by community college sustainability professionals and the Governor’s office drove the vehicles along the route with stops to recharge and demonstrate electric vehicle technology. The trip brought together thousands of people including educators, businesses, elected officials, the media and the public.
This effort was designed to further promote advancements in the state of Illinois' electric vehicle infrastructure and help educate consumers about the practicality of electric vehicles. While Illinois is one of the nation’s leaders in EV use, with nearly 5000 electric vehicles on the road and 450 public charging stations, many potential consumers are unaware of the growing availability of charging stations. Many also believe that range time is insufficient. By driving the electric vehicles across the state, the trip sought to educate consumers and increase "range awareness." The trip also showed where there are geographical gaps in charging stations that need to be filled.
Electric vehicles are an increasingly viable alternative to combustion engine powered automobiles and offer tremendous benefits to our environment and economy. With zero emissions, EV'S are superior in terms of air quality, even when the source of the electricity is coal. Consumers benefit from the highly substantial savings on fuel. With the combination of federal and state incentives, the purchase price of an electric vehicle is very competitive. Similarly, incentives make the installation of chargers very attractive. State programs are available that will cover as much as half of the cost. State entities can take advantage of a master contract with Green Wheels in order to obtain electric vehicles for their fleet. While Illinois is a leader in the use of electric vehicles, there is much more to be done. The Illinois Green Economy Network in partnership with community colleges across the state, will continue to innovate and lead the charge.
The Road Trip had media events at participating colleges and other host sites on the following days:
- John A. Logan College, Carterville, 8:00 a.m. - featured speaker Lt. Governor Sheila Simon
- Kaskaskia College, Centralia, 12:50 p.m.
- Southwestern Illinois College, Belleville, 2:25 p.m.
- Lewis and Clark Community College, Godfrey, 4:30 p.m. - featured speaker Dr. Dale Chapman
- Executive Mansion, Springfield, 10:00 a.m.
- City Hall, Lincoln, 11:30 a.m. - invited speaker, Mayor Snyder
- Downtown Atlanta, 12:15 p.m. - invited speaker, Mayor Finchum
- Heartland Community College, Normal, 2:00 p.m. - featured speaker, Normal Mayor Chris Koos
- Kankakee Community College, Kankakee, 8:00 a.m.
- Prairie State College, Chicago Heights, 9:45 a.m.
- Moraine Valley Community College, Palos Hills, 11:40 a.m.
- Triton College, River Grove, 1:15 p.m.
- Wilbur Wright College, Chicago, 2:30 p.m.
- College of Lake County, Grayslake, 4:30 p.m. - featured speaker, Dr Weber
special guests: State Senator Melinda Bush, State Senator Julie Morrison, State Representative Sam Yingling, representative for Congressman Brad Schneider, representative for State Representative Carol Sente, Lake County Board Chairman Aaron Lawlor, Lake County Commissioner Steve Carlson