“The City is very proud that the Autobarn of Evanston is leading this partnership with the Center for Neighborhood Technology and Governor Pat Quinn,” said Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl. “Our community members and business owners continue to exemplify their dedication to keeping the city sustainable which makes the quality of life in Evanston noticeably different from other cities across the U.S.” Autobarn of Evanston announced it will sponsor nine Chargepoint EV charging stations for one year in conjunction with the Center for Neighborhood Technology. The stations are located in Chicago’s Rogers Park and Bronzeville neighborhoods, Oak Park and Evanston.
“We are leading the charge on building an electric vehicle charging infrastructure and salute Autobarn of Evanston for helping Illinois motor its way to a cleaner, greener future. As our nation faces rising gas prices, Illinois drivers are ready to embrace this common-sense transportation option, especially if there’s ‘no charge to charge’,” said Eric Heineman, Sustainability Director for Governor Pat Quinn.
Under the partnership negotiated by Heineman, use of nine EV chargers owned by the Center for Neighborhood Technology will be made available to all EV drivers at no cost for one year with Autobarn picking up the tab starting on May 15th, 2014. Some of these stations feature a State-funded solar canopy and others have been funded by the State.
The sites where EV drivers can juice up for free include:
- Center for Neighborhood Technology parking lot, 2125 W. North Avenue, Chicago
- UnCommon Ground Restaurant parking lot, 1401 W. Devon Avenue, Chicago
- Illinois Institute of Technology parking lot, 3201 S. State Street, Chicago
- Evanston Library parking lot, 1701 Orrington Avenue, Evanston
- 825 Hinman Avenue, Evanston (2 charging stations)
- 2122 Central Street, Evanston (2 charging stations)
- 1100 North Boulevard, Oak Park
“The Autobarn of Evanston is proud to participate in a program that serves the community by providing accessible environmentally conscious transportation options. This sponsorship is one of many ongoing green initiatives throughout our dealerships.” said Richard Kirkpatrick, General Manager of Autobarn.
“Illinois is quickly emerging as a hotspot for EVs and that movement will continue to grow exponentially with the strong leadership from Governor Quinn and forward thinking businesses like Autobarn and Center for Neighborhood Technology,” said Pasquale Romano, ChargePoint CEO. “We applaud these partners for recognizing the importance of market based programs which will help continue to drive the industry forward."
Five of the new chargers are located in Evanston, whose 14 total EV chargers put it among Illinois’ top communities for EV chargers per capita.
“We started this project in 2009 and our goal was to jump start carsharing and electric vehicles in our region. CNT has built 4 large solar canopies and provided panels for rooftop installations for total production of 150KW solar power to support electric charging stations. And today, we are able to take another step toward jumpstarting the industry by providing public charging stations at no cost to the public. We want to thank all our funders who stuck with us over four years—State of Illinois, City of Chicago, Department of Energy, and the Illinois Clean Energy Foundation and special thanks to Autobarn of Evanston, for taking us through this last hurdle,” said Sharon Feigon, CEO of the Center for Neighborhood Technology affiliate, Alternative Transportation for Chicagoland.
Electric vehicles cut air and noise pollution, and run on fuel from a cleaner and safer grid. Due to their size, EVs cause less strain on roadways and are easier to park. And retailers such as 7-Eleven have found that customers spend more inside their stores when their EVs are charging outside. According to one study, EV drivers spent double the amount of time at a retail location then regular shoppers, resulting in more dollars spent.
As part of a larger initiative to become more sustainable throughout Illinois, drivers are encouraged to consider electric vehicles, which cut air and noise pollution, and run on fuel from a cleaner and safer grid. Additionally, due to their size, EVs cause less strain on roadways and are easier to park.
Illinois now has nearly 5,000 registered plug-in cars served by 450 private and public charging stations.
The Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) is an award-winning innovations laboratory for urban sustainability. Since 1978, CNT has shown urban communities in Chicago and across the country how to develop more sustainably. CNT promotes the better and more efficient use of the undervalued resources and inherent advantages of the built and natural systems that comprise the urban environment.
ChargePoint is the largest and most open electric vehicle (EV) charging network in the world, with more than 17,000 charging locations. Ranked #1 by leading independent research firm, Navigant Research, ChargePoint makes advanced hardware and best-in-class cloud based software. ChargePoint’s open network is utilized by many leading EV hardware makers and encourages all EV charging manufacturers to join. ChargePoint’s real-time network information including the availability of charging locations throughout the nation is available through the ChargePoint mobile app, online and via the navigation systems in top-selling EVs including the new BMW i3 and the Nissan LEAF. Every 10 seconds, a driver connects to a ChargePoint station and by initiating over 4.5 million charging sessions, ChargePoint drivers have saved over 3.9 million gallons of gasoline and driven 93 million gas free miles.For more information about ChargePoint, visit www.chargepoint.com.
The Autobarn has served the greater Chicagoland area for more than 22 years. Family-owned and operated and helmed by Richard Fisher, The Autobarn offers one of the largest selections of new and certified pre-owned Volkswagen, Mazda and Nissan models at four state-of-the-art dealership locations, including City Volkswagen Chicago, Volkswagen of Evanston, Mazda of Evanston and Nissan of Evanston. Each dealership provides the highest quality of sales and service at competitive prices. The Autobarn prides itself on its ongoing community support and environmentally friendly practices, including sponsorship of the Center for Neighborhood Technology's EV Charging Stations, Evanston's YEA! Day, Evanston's Chamber of Commerce, and many other local organizations.