The state is investing $1 million to establish a network of charging stations for electric vehicles along the historic U.S. 66 through Illinois. The network will support commuter and tourist driving for the growing electric vehicle sector, according to Gov. Pat Quinn.
“We are building a 21st century infrastructure across Illinois and we need to make sure that it is sustainable for future generations,” Quinn said. “This new project exemplifies Illinois’ place as the innovation capital of the Midwest, with cutting-edge business practices that create jobs and encourage sustainability.”
The cities of Plainfield, Dwight, Pontiac, Normal, Lincoln, Springfield, Carlinville and Edwardsville will each install one or more fast-charging stations that are easily accessible from the popular route, allowing electric vehicle drivers to retrace its original pathway. Each of the seven charging points in the network will include one fast-charging station capable of charging vehicles with either CHAdeMO or SAE connectors within 15-20 minutes and one level two charging station.
Installation of the charging stations will begin this month, with targeted completion by summer.
The Illinois Route 66 Electric Corridor will connect communities along the 300-mile stretch from Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River in the Metro East area with a network of stations. The network will make it possible for electric vehicle drivers to travel between Chicago and St. Louis, two of the key urban markets for such vehicles in the nation.
The project is supported by auto manufacturers, including BMW, Illinois-based Mitsubishi and Nissan, which is contributing the charging station to be installed in Edwardsville.
“The state of Illinois’ Route 66 EV corridor is consistent with Mitsubishi Motors North America’s desire to affect a broader acceptance of EVs through user-friendly infrastructure,” Mitsubishi general manager of corporate communications Dan Irvin said. “It is our belief that projects like this will help our state maximize the possibilities of EVs.”