1 MILLION EVS: INSIDE THE STATE’S PLAN FOR ELECTRIFYING THE TRANSPORTATION SECTOR
JB Pritzker traveled to the United Nations Climate Change Conference
in Glasgow, Scotland, at the beginning of the month and shared
a vision for his home state: “Illinois intends to become the best place in
North America to drive and manufacture an electric vehicle.”
public appearances, and one that he brought to international business
leaders in a trip to London prior to the U.N. conference. And it’s
one that, if realized, the governor believes can yield victories for his
administration on a pair of his campaign cornerstones – economic
growth and carbon reduction.
our planet,” Pritzker said during a panel discussion at the U.N. conference
with governors from Washington, Oregon and Hawaii.
roads by 2030, a goal written into the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act,
or CEJA, a wide-ranging decarbonization bill that Pritzker signed into
law in September.
million from just the 34,363 licensed in the state as of the end of October?
credit package known as the REV Act make up the backbone of a push
to lure private investment while breaking down well-documented
consumer barriers to EV adoption as the industry stands on the cusp of
but now across the world, that this is going to be the place if you want
to make, manufacture or drive an electric vehicle, to do it,” Deputy
Gov. Christian Mitchell, who accompanied Pritzker on his European
trip, said in a phone call.
distributing more than $200 million in state and federal funding for the
rollout of charging infrastructure.
News Illinois about the next step for meeting EV rollout goals, the
strengths of the two laws that aim to get Illinois there, and other actions
the administration has taken.
said, is that it addresses the supply and demand sides of the industry.
and environmentalists are to be successful across the country, that we
couch this issue in jobs, jobs, jobs,” Mitchell said.
for the installation of charging infrastructure. Money for that will
come from a $70 million allotment from the state’s 2019 Rebuild Illinois
infrastructure plan. Another $149 million sent to Illinois from a recently-
passed federal infrastructure plan will also aid in the buildout.
buy electric vehicles in the state. The governor’s office said there’s about
$5.1 million in the fund that will supply those rebates beginning in
July 2022, and as of now it has only a “rough estimate” that “thousands”
of Illinoisans will be able to receive the rebate.
in the U.S., policies like CEJA serve as a market catalyst, said Sara
Rafalson, vice president of market development and public policy at
state level, is that Illinois is really poised for success, because we have
in place now both the complementary policies to support vehicle
sales as well as sustained long-term investments in charging infrastructure,” she said. “For a business like ours, when we see higher vehicle sales, that sends a strong signal to the market that we need to build more chargers.”
in the fall session, creates payroll tax credits ranging from 25 percent to
100 percent of income tax withheld for new or retained EV manufacturing
jobs, depending on factors such as company location and number of
employees hired. It also creates a 10 percent credit for training expenses
and credits for construction wages and building materials.
vehicle parts, such as batteries.
of public policy of Rivian Automotive, which has an EV manufacturing
plant in the Bloomington-Normal area, said the bill will be a major support for the company that already employs more than 3,000 Illinoisans in its 3.5 million square feet of manufacturing space.
the Silicon Valley of EVs, as we work together to attract new investment
from suppliers and other supporting players in this industry,” he said.
encouraging existing companies, such as the Stellantis manufacturing
company in the Rockford area, to retool their existing plants.
a climate bill in hand that provides a $4,000 incentive to consumers to
buy an electric vehicle, but also an incentive package to get more of
those sites here to manufacture EVs as well as all the downstream materials that are necessary, is a way of creating a new, modern, reinvigorated manufacturing sector in the state of Illinois,” Mitchell said.
adoption – cost.
Club of Illinois who helped push for CEJA’s passage, said while EVs are
more expensive, they also cost less to maintain, and purchasers may be
eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit that could be increased to $12,500
if President Joe Biden’s domestic spending agenda passes Congress.
at 75,000 miles of driving, an EV cost about $330 less to maintain and
about $700 less to fuel annually than a gas-powered car.
availability of charging infrastructure as their main concern, while
just 51 percent cited price.
concerns. The current median range for a single EV charge is 250 miles,
with high-end models of major brands like Tesla offering ranges up
to about 400 miles. The average was just 90 miles six years ago.
across a gas station,” she said. “But it’s not the same for an electric
charger. And, yes, while range is improving significantly as new
vehicles are developed, it’s still our habit that you need to know where
you can fill up.”
at a gas station, largely because the vast majority of EV drivers do their
charging at home. That means most people will be able to handle their
daily driving without needing public charging, except when they’re going
on longer road trips.
for free at grocery stores or parking garages as an enticement to
customers. But the vast majority of public charging is offered by private
charging networks like EVgo, or ChargePoint, which have varying
pricing and subscription models that generally amount to about 22-
29 cents per minute for a charge.
charger that takes about 6-8 hours to fully charge, and DC fast chargers,
which take about 30 minutes.
1,815 of which are Level 2 and 478 of which are fast charge.
next nine years, the need for public charging is going to increase significantly, particularly in rural areas where it is currently sparse and in
densely-populated areas with a lot of multi-family housing where athome
charging isn’t available.
helped push CEJA through the General Assembly, said that’s why
lawmakers included a “beneficial electrification” process in the
bill aimed at determining where charging is needed most to accelerate
percent of people charge at home, one public Level 2 charger would be
needed for about 25 EVs. But if that number drops to 82 percent charging
at home, there would need to be one Level 2 charger for 13 vehicles.
then you have to think about emergency situations as well. So that’s
where these DC fast charge stations come in.”
would be needed for 588 vehicles, but at 82 percent, that falls to just
227 vehicles supported.
The Illinois Commerce Commission will oversee that “beneficial
electrification” process aimed at determining where new charging
infrastructure is needed most in order to accelerate EV adoption.
rapidly adding EVs to the grid overwhelm it? Are there times of day when EV charging can be synergized with the rates at which solar or wind energy output is higher? How can the state quicken electrification of its public transit sector? How can EVs be made more accessible in low-income areas?
move Illinois toward electric transportation and in an equitable way,”
Beverly, of the Sierra Club, said of the process.
off on Nov. 3, with more than 170 participants, according to ICC
spokesperson Britney Bouie. There will be eight more meetings as part
of the process that runs through February, all of which will be open
to the public, with information available at the ICC website.
steps the state should take to most efficiently accelerate EV adoption.
After that workshop process, the state’s largest two public utilities
– Commonwealth Edison in northern Illinois and Ameren in
the southern two-thirds of the state – are required to submit beneficial electrification plans to the ICC by July 2022 for policies they can enact beginning in 2023.
be funded by a net 1 percent charge on the distribution portion of a ratepayer bill for a customer of either of the two utilities, Barbeau said.
territory and $6 million in Ameren territory, although it could scale up
over time as more EVs hit the state’s roads. The utilities must then spend
that funding in accordance with their state-approved electrification plans.
three years thereafter, according to the bill.
ongoing EV support and policy, rather than having to go back to do
a new bill every few years,” Barbeau said.
of loose parameters in place, such as a goal that 40 percent of infrastructure investment is to be targeted to low-income communities or environmental justice communities that are historically subject to greater
pollution. Another 5 percent is to go toward electrifying medium- to
heavy-duty vehicles such as school buses in those communities.
EV adoption as well, including by entering into a memorandum
of understanding with governors of four other Midwestern states –
Michigan, Indiana, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
of the range anxiety challenges that arise with interstate travel and are
otherwise more difficult to address in state policymaking, such as
propagating charging corridors and ensuring standardization of
of school buses in Chicago and the Metro East, $33.6 million in other funds for electrifying school buses, and $13.3 million for light-duty electric charging infrastructure.
as well as continuing its aggressive courtship of business leaders
reached during the overseas trip, will be essential to breaking down
some of the barriers to EV adoption.
what incentives are in place when you make individual purchases, but also what does the investment look like, so that people can have confidence that they can use this vehicle in the everyday course because that’s what’s going to help drive adoption,” he said.
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