Chicago, February 21, 2011 — At the 2011 Chicago Auto Show Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and officials from the City of Chicago announced the selection of 350Green to design, build and operate a network of 280 EV charging stations throughout the Chicago area.
The project is among the first and largest of its kind in the United States, and will help the city address two of the most vexing challenges facing widespread adoption of electric vehicles: range anxiety and access to a garage for overnight charging.
350Green plans to install and operate its stations in partnership with retail hosts across high-traffic urban shopping centers and other places near where Chicago-area EV drivers live and work.
Much of the early focus around EV infrastructure has been on putting charging stations in the home garages of customers, which benefits only those who have a garage.
Since many residents in Chicago do not have access to a garage, this effectively limits the number of people who can participate in the EV revolution.
The development of the EV industry in Chicago will have benefits for both the environment and the economy.
For example, a 10 percent conversion of petroleum-based vehicles to electric vehicles in the Chicago metro area could result in a reduction of 1.8 million tons of carbon dioxide annually. Similarly, the reduction of gasoline use will lead to an estimated $525 million positive economic impact on the region every year.
The company also expects that construction, operation and management of the 73 DC Fast and 207 Level 2 charging stations, plus the opening of a nationwide customer support center, will create about 50 jobs in the greater Chicago area. The project is valued at $8.8 million, with public funding of up to $1.9 million. 350Green will fund the remaining $6.9 million.