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IGEN’s EV Road Trip Event Takes Off June 23 with Additional Participants, Sponsors

Article by: Laura Inlow, lgriffith@lc.edu
GODFREY – The Illinois Green Economy Network’s Electric Vehicle Road Trip will take off next week with additional participants and sponsors.  

From June 23-25, a total of 11 Illinois community colleges involved with IGEN will engage in an EV Road Trip to demonstrate the progress of their efforts in strengthening EV infrastructure (the “IL Community College EV Highway”), to promote further deployment of EV infrastructure, and to raise awareness about EV technology and the environmental issues that necessitate a move to a more sustainable transportation infrastructure.

Organizers also hope the event can remove any hesitations on the part of potential EV consumers.

“As each college is a fairly large employer in its respective district, we also hope to highlight the convenience of workplace charging,” said L&C Director of Sustainability Nate Keener. “After our homes, the workplace is where we spend the most time. 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.”

In addition to IGEN, the effort is being supported by Illinois Governor’s and Lieutenant Governor’s Offices, the Illinois Office of Tourism, Nissan, Chargepoint and Green Wheels USA.

Governor Pat Quinn touts Illinois’ leadership in the electric vehicle arena.

“Illinois has the pedal to the metal when it comes to building a cutting edge electric vehicle infrastructure. We have nearly 5,000 registered plug-in cars, and 450 public and private charging stations, including one of the nation’s largest networks of fast-charging stations,” Gov. Quinn said. “As gas prices soar, Illinois motorists are starting to embrace this clean energy transportation option. The ‘Illinois EV Road Trip’ is a great showcase of this emerging technology, our community college system and such Illinois gems as Route 66.”

“I am pleased to see Illinois’ community colleges showing how they are taking the lead in utilizing and promoting sustainable technology,” Lt. Governor Sheila Simon said. “By making charging stations available on campus, schools are not only supporting safe and reliable EV technology and our environment; they are also making it more convenient for employees who own or are considering an electric vehicle to charge at the workplace.”

The EV Road Trip will start at John A. Logan College in Carterville, the southernmost community college with a charge station, and will proceed north over the course of three days before ending at College of Lake County at 4:30 p.m. June 25. Along the way, a rotating crew, comprised of community college sustainability professionals, students, and/or IGEN staff, will stop for various media events and charge opportunities.  

As the relay proceeds, event organizers will encourage each college to commit to the Department of Energy’s Workplace Charging Challenge Pledge, which aims to achieve a tenfold increase in the number of U.S. employers offering workplace charging by 2018.

The rally team is also excited to partner with the Illinois Office of Tourism and to welcome Mini Abe as an honored guest for the trip.

“Illinois is home to the ultimate road trip, with seven scenic byways including Route 66, the Great River Road and the Lincoln Highway,” said Jen Hoelzle, deputy director of the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s Office of Tourism. “Even our mini-ambassador, Mini Abe, has traveled his share of the open road in Illinois, and we’re proud to be a leader in the electric transportation movement. Charging stations across the state, starting at the Executive Mansion in Springfield, bring Land of Lincoln EV road trips within the public’s reach.”

The event will be captured on video and shared around social media. People interested in following along are encouraged to follow IGEN on Facebook and Twitter to track the road trip’s progress.

Updated Road Trip Schedule

June 23

  • 8 a.m. – John A. Logan College (Carterville) – featured speaker Lt. Governor Sheila Simon
  • 12:50 p.m. – Kaskaskia College (Centralia)
  • 2:25 p.m. – Southwestern Illinois College (Belleville)
  • 4:30 p.m. – Lewis and Clark Community College (Godfrey) – featured speaker Dr. Dale Chapman

June 24

  • 10 a.m. – Executive Mansion (Springfield)
  • 11:30 a.m. – City Hall (Lincoln) – invited speaker Mayor Snyder
  • 12:15 p.m. – Downtown Atlanta – invited speaker Mayor Finchum
  • 2 p.m. – Heartland Community College (Normal) – featured speaker Normal Mayor Chris Koos

June 25

  • 8 a.m. – Kankakee Community College (Kankakee)
  • 9:45 a.m. – Prairie State College (Chicago Heights)
  • 11:40 a.m. – Moraine Valley Community College (Palos Hills)
  • 1:15 p.m. – Triton College (River Grove)
  • 2:30 p.m. – Wilbur Wright College (Chicago)
  • 4:30 p.m. – College of Lake County (Grayslake)

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.