CHICAGO - Following the Obama Administration's lead in using tax dollars to subsidize and promote environmentally-friendly companies, Thursday, Governor Pat Quinn flaunted Illinois taxpayers' investment in constructing electric vehicle (EV) stations along Illinois tollways and ing Chicago.
“We want Illinois to be the greenest state in America,” Governor Quinn said. “By installing the largest network of cutting edge fast-chargers, Illinois will continue to support green jobs and provide people with environmentally-friendly and affordable travel options.”
Indeed, the state of Illinois is cooperating financially with the 350Green, an EV charge provider and 7-Eleven conveniences stores to encourage driving green EVs by making charging stations more accessible. A Chevy Volt advertises that it can go 35 miles on one charging, which lasts about 15 minutes, plenty of time to browse the nearby 7-Eleven store.
Through the Chicago-Area EV Infrastructure Project, 26 fast-chargers have been installed, with 73 total fast-chargers planned. Eight of these are currently in place at Tollway Oases along the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) at the Des Plaines Oasis and on the Tri-State Tollway (I-94/I-294/I-80) at the Lake Forest Oasis, O’Hare Oasis and Chicago Southland Lincoln Oasis. The installations, managed by 350Green, were performed by Chicago-based JNS Power & Control Systems.
How does one get charged up at these oases spots? A 350Green card for $21 will purchase three 15-minute fast chargeups for an electrical vehicle. These 350Green EV locations are conveniently located only near 7-11 convenience stores, where coffee, energy drinks and other traveling amenities are available.
And the EV charging locations are also springing up in Chicago. The City of Chicago is overseeing the project’s installation of 280 charging stations overall to increase accessibility to EV charging.
With a budget of $8.8 million, including $1.9 million in public funding and $6.9 million in private investment, EV stations are being installed mostly in areas with dense residential and worker populations and in high-traffic areas.
The overall EV infrastructure project has created approximately 18 jobs and its construction will support 8,500 labor hours. With $1.9 million in taxpayer dollars, that's $100,000 plus per job Illinois taxpayers contributed for those lucky contractors that know how to install EV charging stations.