ComEd has joined the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus to announce a new initiative to help communities across northern Illinois prepare to meet growing demand for electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure.
Fueled by a $225,000 commitment from ComEd, the EV Readiness Program will remove barriers to EV adoption by guiding local governments to enact policies and practices that can accelerate safe and effective transportation electrification across the region.
The EV Readiness Program will provide a broad range of support to communities as they develop and implement programs to promote EVs. Additionally, this program is designed to assist communities who may eventually seek state and federal funds earmarked for the development of EV charging infrastructure. These funds are set to be released later this year as part of a $5 billion investment authorized by Congress to help states expand EV charging infrastructure and accelerate the adoption of EV technology. Federal funding will play a key role in helping advance Gov. Pritzker’s plan to put 1 million EVs on the road 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,” says 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 will receive support on how to remove barriers to adoption, facilitate charging infrastructure and expand markets for EVs. Municipalities and counties will earn designation as an EV Ready Community based on actions taken in several categories to influence EV adoption and deployment of EV charging infrastructure, including commit 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.
The caucus is developing the program with guidance from the EV Readiness Advisory Committee, a diverse group of more than 50 local transportation and sustainability experts representing public and private sectors. ComEd’s investment in the EV Readiness Program will support program development, consulting and personnel costs to educate municipalities across the ComEd service region over the next 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,” states 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 builds on the ongoing collaborative efforts by ComEd and the caucus to support communities with integrating new clean energy technology. This includes a recently developed EV toolkit, and competitive grant funding opportunities to accelerate EV infrastructure adoption. Through the Powering Communities grants initiative, ComEd and the caucus have supported over $1 million in public safety and electrification projects across the Chicago area, which has unlocked matching funds for these communities to help accelerate their EV growth.
“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,” mentions 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.”