Feb 16, 2022 - News

Time to expand EV charging stations

Free electric vehicle charging stations in Chicago
Data: U.S. Department of Energy. Map: Axios Visuals

The Biden administration has kicked off a $5 billion program to expand electric vehicle (EV) charging networks nationwide, which could finally address a huge barrier to EV purchases: charging anxiety.

Why it matters: Illinois launched an ambitious plan last year — overseen by the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) — to put 1 million EVs on the state's roads by 2030. That's more than a fifth of all cars.

  • Jumping from the current 33,300 to a million EVs will require more than a few new charging stations.

Zoom in: Chicago's city limits hold about 220 public charging stations, half of which are free.

The intrigue: The entire state of Illinois hosts 874 public charging stations, but the U.S. Department of Energy estimates the state will need 17 times that number — about 15,000 stations — to support the 1 million EV goal.

What they're saying: "(We) remain deeply committed to advancing the EV infrastructure statewide, and increasing access for all residents in the near future," ICC spokesperson Britney Bouie tells Axios, though she didn't offer specifics on a timetable for expansion or how funds would be used.

Of note: This July, thousands of dollars in rebates and incentives kick in for Illinoisans who buy EVs, including an 80% reimbursement for home charging stations.

Explore the interactive map.


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