Quinn to carmakers: State’s ready for electric cars

By Julie Wernau
Posted Feb. 18 at 5:53 p.m.

Standing in front of a fast-charging station at the Chicago Auto Show, Gov. Pat Quinn called on automakers to bring electric vehicles to the state in light of charging infrastructure planned for the Chicago area.

“We’re going to have electric vehicles galore in the state of Illinois,” he said. “We want to be the nation’s capital for electric vehicles.”

In announcing that Chicago has signed a contract to have 280 charging stations installed in the area, Quinn said the infrastructure will go a long way toward making the state’s environmental goals a reality.

He called on Nissan, Chevy and other plug-in vehicle manufacturers to bring their cars to Illinois, which will have the largest number of fast-charging stations in the country once the $8.8 million project is complete. Only Ford has announced Chicago as an initial city for its electric vehicles.

Nissan has said it expects to rollout nationwide in 2012. A spokesman said this week that the charging infrastructure announcement has not changed its timeline to bring electric vehicles to Chicago.

Mariana Gerzanych, chief executive of 350Green LLC, the San Diego company awarded the approximately $2 million contract — half federal and half state money — said it is mapping a strategy that includes installing the stations where people park for longer periods of time.

“We start with: ‘How do people drive? Where do people park? How long do they stay there?’” she said.

That strategy also means working with Commonwealth Edison Co. to ensure that the electrical grid can handle the fast-charging stations.

Dan Gabel, ComEd’s manager of electric vehicles, said demand from 73 DC Quick Charge stations, which can charge a vehicle in less than 30 minutes, is significantly more than from Level 2 (240 volt) charging stations, which can take four to eight hours to charge. He equated the requirements for each charging station to those needed to support a shop in a strip mall. Depending on the charging station site, the costs to upgrade electrical equipment could be borne by the site owner or by ComEd customers, he said, and those costs would vary from site to site.


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  1. Franklin D. Lomax, Sr. Feb. 18 at 5:00 pm

    WastingtonDC: Having edited, written and managed fifty agency concurrence cycles for major Federal Regulations, it is safe and reasonable to state that a simple Clean Energy Distributed Generation Small Business Plan, to reclaim Detroit’s world domination of working people’s vehicle markets, with UAW’s category killer Hybrid Vehicle Profit Centers could be instituted immediately, creating millions of small businesses, and additional millions of infrastructure build out jobs, at no cost to the taxpayers. Detroit could not meet the world wide demand, for decades. Utilities Branded Clean Energy Distributed Generation small businesses that will feed the overloaded grid, for profits, using NAFTA sourced fuels, during exactly those peak electrical use hours when capacity is inadequate, will buy all the light medium and heavy Hybrid Vehicle Profit Centers Detroit can manufacture, right now, and for decades. Since the higher Plug In and Out hybrid costs will be paid by small business profits, feeding the NAFTA Free Trade Grid with their new, used and converted hybrid profit centers, all those hybrids would be exempted from every form of state, county, city, regional and federal taxation, for the Drive America to Energy Independence Generation, Spared the burdens of sales, use, license, title, and all other fees, penalties and taxes on their fuel, repairs, trailers, tires, etc, 80M working Americans will buy million mile capable Hybrid Vehicle Profit Centers, large enough to safely transport their loads for the first time in their lives. Saving thousands of lives each year, at voluntary 55MPH Hybrid speed limits, we will schedule work, play, and lives to minimize the use of OPEC fuels, and maximize our farm/highway use of off peak electrical energy. Profits, selling electricity to the NAFTA free trade grid, to pay for our $150K light, $200K medium and $250K heavy truck ba sed HVPC, will drive Detroit/UAW to full capacity, an America to energy independence.

  2. Franklin D. Lomax, Sr. Feb. 18 at 5:02 pm

    WastingtonDC: The hour that lobbyists who own congress allow owners of Hybrid Vehicle Profit Centers to generate electrical energy, and feed it to the grid, for profits, clean and renewable energy profits will end production of OPEC fueled light, medium and heavy trucks, in a single generation. Now, even if I convert my F700 farm Motor Home to hybrid, $20K total using the US Baldor hybrid truck motor/braking system, I cannot sell more than the power I bought at retail, last year. With the monopoly utilities owning the grid, and limiting my alternative fuel generation profits to just reducing my prior year’s electric bill, the costs to buy a new light, medium or heavy hybrid, capable of carrying my tools, crews, materials, and family to church on Sunday, will make as much sense as the silly $50K to $150K Solar installations, also limited by Net Metering schemes, to no more power sales to the grid, than their owner’s prior year’s electrical bill.

    Worse, Net Metering allows the monopoly utilities to take any excess power, over my last year’s bill, at their fiscal year date, for nothing in many states, and for 1/5th the price I pay when I buy power the day after the utility takes my excess. The whole solar installation subsidy and loans programs are an insulting scam, shades of Bell City Californication. Is this the way to convince my family and 80,000,000 working families to buy Detroit built Plug In and Out distributed generation profit centers, that happen to be hybrid trucks. We build, transport, and service the GDP, living by, with, and too often in working trucks, 24/7/365. Most of us cannot today afford to buy and operate any truck large enough to safely carry our daily loads, nor to safely tow our antique trailers overloaded with enough concrete blocks, lumber and stuff, to extinguish the lives of thousands of innocent travelers every generation. We can power the grid with alternative fuels, allowed profits, now

  3. JOHN C Feb. 19 at 11:00 a.m.

    taxpayers are ready for the electric chair

  4. Skeptic Feb. 19 at 5:41 pm

    It is the “Net Metering” schemes that provide much of the subsidy money for solar electric installation. Everyone that installs solar power in their homes has no problem taking the $20-$30K in offset money. Plus who knows how much more money it costs to administer those programs. If you want to put solar power on your house, DO IT. But do it with your own money. The greenies have oversold the electric car, wind power and a host of other alternative energy projects so they can profit from it. But their product does not support itself so they buy Congress to put US money into a project that no venture capitalist would even consider. How much money does the Chevy Volt cost?? Never mind the sticker price, what is the true cost? How many do they have to sell to break even? Will they ever sell enough?

  5. Bob Mavet Feb. 19 at 6:12 pm

    These charging stations must be totally green. That means that they have self contained solar panels and do not connect to the existing power grid. Then the charging stations become truly sustainable and renewable. Don’t get caught up in the hype. Carbon Day Automotive already had an installed unit located downtown Chicago. Yet again, the sole source contact was granted by City of Chicago to a company allegedly from San Diego. But not a registered California LLC. Not an Illinois company. Not registered as a foreign company to do business in Illinois. What is going on here?? The website for 350 Green, LLC is hosted in Russia. Who are these people fronting for? Why did Quinn provide a matching $1 Million of grant funds to an out of state company? This is how he supports economic growth and jobs in Illinois?? The CEO of 350 Green, LLC ran a limosine company in the Washington DC area and worked for the US Census. Business as usual in Illinois and it stinks!!
    This abuse of federal funds should be investigated by Illinois’ US Senators and Congressman. More abuse of ARRA stimulus monies….

  6. ECarFan Feb. 19 at 7:32 pm

    Kudos for Pat Quinn. It takes forward looking steps like this to get the ball rolling. Having the ability to charge a car away from home is important to the success of the electric car. Also, given most people drive under 40 miles per day people come to realize the convenience of this type of car.

  7. badgerboy23 Feb. 21 at 8:32 a.m.

    I have been involved with solar installation on commercial buildings. I am now involved with wind. Both–like the electric car–depend totally on gov’t subsidies. They are a joke, as is the electric car. Just one more thing the gov’t wastes our money on. I am all for green energy, but it needs to be developed by private entrepreneurs, not the gov’t. When private business interests figure out a way to make it all profitable without subsidies and the rest of the things that have been dreamed up to try to make all of this attractive, it will happen. Until then, this is a joke…just like Pat Quinn.

  8. jessica G, ME Feb. 28 at 9:36 a.m.

    hybrids!! :D