Aug 29, 2022 - Business

Inside IL's EV takeover

Illustration of a road with glowing electricity symbols dividing the lanes.
Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

California recently banned the purchase of gas-fueled cars by 2035.

  • With recent investments in EV tech and infrastructure, Illinois could follow suit.

Why it matters: Federal and local governments are investing heavily in electric vehicles to curb fossil fuel use, and California's ambitious ban puts pressure on automakers to ramp up EV production nationwide.

What's happening: General Motors, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo have committed to transition to EVs by 2035.

Zoom in: Illinois hasn't banned gas-powered car purchases but seeks to register 1 million EVs by 2030.

  • State officials didn't respond to our questions about banning gas-powered vehicles.

Be smart: It's not just car production — it's infrastructure. If consumers are going to shift to EVs, charging stations must be plentiful, regulated and accessible.

  • State government leaders and private businesses are convening to determine best practices and standards for charging stations.

What they're saying: "The law's framework for a national EV charging network encourages us to scale up chargers and scale up fast," Siemens USA CEO Barbara Humpton tells Axios.

  • "Through cross-sector partnerships, we can drive transformation so much faster than any one entity ever could alone."
Photo of a room of audience watching a panel discussion
Justin moderates a Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce panel on the future of EV infrastructure. Photo courtesy of the chamber

The intrigue: If infrastructure is keeping planners up at night, heightened electricity demands could exacerbate that insomnia.

  • One solution might be the microgrid, which can disconnect from the main grid to ensure that power flows during overloads, extreme weather and other outages.
  • ComEd recently unveiled a microgrid on IIT's Bronzeville campus, the nation's first utility-operated microgrid cluster.
  • It's one way utilities are scaling and preparing for greater electricity use once EVs predominate on the roadways.
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