Chicago Readies Region for EV Charging

Chicago-area municipalities can take advantage of a new grant program to prepare their infrastructure for electric vehicles.

2 minute read

February 14, 2024, 8:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

The Chicago suburb of University Park was recently awarded the second-highest score out of a dozen Chicago-area municipalities participating in a program designed to improve their electric vehicle charging networks.

According to an article by Kari Lydersen in Energy News Network, “University Park is in the process of acquiring an EV charging station for electric semi-trucks city leaders hope will increasingly serve its warehouses, and they hope to add electric vehicles to their municipal fleet while also supporting residents to get their own EVs.”

The EV Readiness Program offers guidance to cities and towns to help them update zoning and building codes to facilitate EV charging infrastructure, provides training for first responders in responding to EV fires, and assists with accessing grant programs and incentives. “Last year the Illinois legislature passed the Electric Vehicle Charging Act, which requires new single-family homes and multi-family buildings be EV capable, meaning conduit is laid to allow easy installation of chargers and wiring. State law also prohibits landlords and homeowners associations from unduly interfering with charger installation, and clarifies how renters should pay for electricity used in charging EVs.”

According to Lydersen, “Illinois has been a leader in legislation promoting electric vehicles on the state level. The 2021 Climate and Equitable Jobs Act created incentives for public transit electrification and EV ownership, with a goal of having one million EVs on Illinois roads by 2030.”

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