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L&C and IGEN to Embark on a Statewide EV Road Trip

Article by: Louise Jett, ljett@lc.edu

Road Trip Making Stop on Godfrey Campus June 23

GODFREY – The Illinois Green Economy Network, a consortium of Illinois community colleges, and Lewis and Clark Community College are preparing to embark on a statewide electronic vehicle road trip from June 23-25 that will arrive at L&C on June 23 at approximately 4:15 p.m.

For the past five years, IGEN has been working to increase the deployment of renewable energy technologies in Illinois. This effort has brought about the installation of electric vehicle charging stations at many of the 39 community college district campuses across the state. 

The road trip will start at the southernmost “charged” community college, in other words, the southernmost community college with an electric vehicle charge station, which is John A. Logan College in Carterville. The trip will then proceed north toward College of Lake County, the northernmost “charged” community college, over the course of three days with crews of two to four people, who will rotate in and out of the car at strategic stops along the way. 

“As each college is a fairly large employer in its respective district, we also hope to highlight the convenience of workplace charging,” L&C Director of Sustainability Nate Keener said. “After our homes, the workplace is where we spend the most time. Indeed, more than 50 percent of non-residential EV charging occurs at the workplace. So, for the several thousand employees of the community college system, some of whom might be considering buying an electric vehicle, drawing attention to the available incentives and convenient charging locations might be the nudge they need.”

The car will be staffed by community college sustainability professionals, interested students and IGEN staff. Along the way, the road trip will stop at each community college with an EV Charge Station. This will afford an opportunity to recharge the car, but will also provide a chance to hold informational workshops, media events and/or test drives, as each participating college decides is in its best interest.

L&C will hold an EV Road Trip Launch at 4 p.m. Monday, June 23, in the parking lot southeast of the Olin Science and Templin Nursing Buildings to wish Keener farewell as he embarks on his journey to the Governor’s Mansion in Springfield, Illinois. The event will feature light refreshments, speaker and electric vehicle owner L&C President Dale Chapman, and electronic vehicles will be on display. 

“The electric vehicle has come a long way in just the last five years, but even as sales rise, some pesky problems persist,” Keener said. “Range anxiety and battery concerns, for example, continue to plague the mind of the potential electronic vehicle consumer. The fear of running out of charge and being stuck without a place to recharge keeps many people from purchasing. With this trip, we hope to chase away some of those fears and show that it actually is possible to drive great distances in electric and hybrid vehicles.”

The effort is being supported by Chargepoint, Nissan and the Illinois Governor’s Office. Governor Pat Quinn touts Illinois’ leadership in the electric vehicle arena.

“In the Midwest, Illinois is leading the charge for electric vehicle infrastructure,” Quinn said. “The State of Illinois has an estimated 4,928 registered plug-in cars and 450 public and private charging stations, including the densest network of fast charging stations in the United States. Our goal is to be home to the largest network of fast chargers in the nation. As our state and nation face rising gas prices, Illinois consumers are ready to embrace this common-sense, clean energy transportation option.” 

For more information about the EV Road Trip, contact Keener at (618) 468-2782 or nkeener@lc.edu. To learn more about the Illinois Green Economy Network, visit the IGEN website at www.igencc.org. To learn more about L&C’s green initiatives, visit www.lc.edu/green.

Schedule of Media Events

June 23

8 a.m. – John A. Logan College – Featured speaker, Lt. Governor Sheila Simon
2:25 p.m. – Southwestern Illinois College
4:30 p.m. – Lewis and Clark Community College – Featured speaker, Dr. Dale Chapman

June 24 

10 a.m. – Illinois Governor’s Mansion – Invited speaker, Governor Pat Quinn
2 p.m. – Heartland Community College – Featured speaker, Normal Mayor Chris Koos

June 25

8 a.m. – Kankakee Community College
9:45 a.m. – Prairie State College
11:40 a.m. – Moraine Valley Community College
1:15 p.m. – Triton College
2:30 p.m. – Wilbur Wright College
4:30 p.m. – College of Lake County