ComEd, in collaboration with the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus (Caucus), has announced a new initiative aimed at bolstering electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure across northern Illinois, amidst surging demand. The EV Readiness Program, powered by a $225,000 commitment from ComEd, is set to streamline the adoption of EVs by assisting local governments in implementing policies that expedite the safe and effective electrification of transportation throughout the region. The program offers extensive support to communities in their journey towards fostering EV-friendly environments.
Moreover, the initiative is positioned to help communities potentially secure state and federal funding, specifically allocated for the development of EV charging infrastructure. Anticipated to be released later this year, these funds form part of a substantial $5 billion investment sanctioned by Congress to facilitate the expansion of EV charging infrastructures and quicken the adoption of EV technology. Federal funding is expected to play a pivotal part in supporting Governor Pritzker’s ambitious plan to have 1 million EVs on Illinois roads by 2030.
“As communities prepare to implement new clean energy technologies, ComEd stands ready to assist them to accelerate decarbonization and improve air quality for all residents,” said ComEd CEO Gil C. Quiniones. “We are thrilled to partner with the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus to deliver the EV Readiness Program, which will help our partners across the region advance the goals of the new clean energy law, CEJA, and help to create cleaner and safer communities for the future.”
Local governments are set to receive strategic guidance on how to eliminate barriers to EV adoption, promulgate charging infrastructure, and expand markets for EVs. The municipalities and counties undertaking these transformative actions will be honored with the distinction of an “EV Ready Community.” This recognition will be based on their proactive measures across several categories that influence EV adoption and the deployment of EV charging infrastructure.
These measures will be inclusive of, but not limited to, committing to EV readiness, zoning and planning, permitting, inspection and safety, parking and access, new construction, EV owner rights, municipal fleets, utility engagement, community engagement, and market development and finance.
To ensure the program’s success, the Caucus is designing it with guidance from the EV Readiness Advisory Committee. This committee comprises a diverse set of over 50 local transportation and sustainability experts from both the public and private sectors. ComEd’s $225,000 investment in the EV Readiness Program will primarily support the development of the program, consulting and personnel costs. This will facilitate the education of municipalities across the ComEd service region over the coming two years.
“Working in collaboration with ComEd, we will support local governments across northern Illinois to build capacity and develop plans to successfully make the shift to electrified transportation,” said Kevin Burns, Mayor of the City of Geneva and Chairman of the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus Environment Committee and EV Readiness Advisory Committee. “We know that communities have been looking for guidance, and the EV Readiness Program will prepare them to move swiftly on new investments coming forward as a result of clean energy policy advancements made at the state and local levels.”
The EV Readiness Program is an extension of the ongoing collaborative efforts between ComEd and the Caucus to assist communities in integrating new clean energy technology. This includes the recent development of an EV toolkit, and the creation of competitive grant funding opportunities to fast-track the adoption of EV infrastructure. Significant strides have been made in this area through the Powering Communities grants initiative.
To date, ComEd and the Caucus have jointly supported over $1 million in public safety and electrification projects across the Chicago area. This support has unlocked matching funds for these communities, further catalyzing their growth in EV adoption. The synergy between ComEd and the Caucus continues to foster a conducive environment for EV growth, paving the way for a future where clean energy is the norm.
“Mount Prospect received two Powering Safe Communities grants to install level two ChargePoint electric vehicle charging stations located in our downtown for use by residents and visitors at Village Hall, Mount Prospect Public Library, restaurants, and local businesses,” said Village of Mount Prospect Mayor Paul Hoefert. “The support we received from ComEd and the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus has been critical for bringing some of Mount Prospect’s first EV charging stations online to help residents adopt electric vehicle technology and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.”
ComEd is committed to implementing a range of initiatives that align with the goals set by the Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA), a recently enacted clean energy legislation. The primary objective of CEJA is to transition Illinois to a clean energy future, targeting 40% renewable energy by 2030, 50% by 2040, and aiming for net-zero emissions by 2050. This path aligns seamlessly with ComEd’s own “Path to Clean” plan, which has set goals for the conversion of 30% of its fleet to clean energy by 2025, and 50% by 2030.
Moreover, CEJA has set a goal for 1 million Electric Vehicles (EVs) to be on the road by 2030. To date, approximately 41,000 EVs have been registered with the Illinois Secretary of State’s office. Communities keen on becoming EV Ready can express their interest presently, with applications to be reviewed for the inaugural cohort starting this fall. This program is open to communities across ComEd’s service region, inclusive of the 275 communities that are part of the Caucus’ membership.
For more information on how to apply, please visit the Caucus’ website.