The city of Chicago and 350Green have inked a $1.9-million contract that calls for the installation of 280 electric vehicle charging stations by the end of 2011. 350Green, a developer of plug-in vehicle charging networks, will install 73 DC fast-charge units and 207 Level 2 charging stations throughout Chicago and in the suburbs nearby.
350Green will install, own, operate and maintain all of the 280 charging units. The 73 DC fast-charge stations will be located at high traffic sites throughout the area, including at O'Hare International Airport and Chicago Midway Airport.
Mariana Gerzanych, chief executive officer of 350Green, told the Chicago Sun-Times that, "Chicago is a great market where we can show the nation how the full charging infrastructure can operate."
350Green has not outlined charging costs for plug-in vehicle owners, but the company has announced that it will dish out $6.9 million to cover the deployment of the charging stations. The city of Chicago will pitch in $1.9 million, which will come from a stimulus grant that it expects to receive from the federal government.
The three-year-old 350Green, which currently has 10 employees, is looking to expand and hopes to relocate some of its operation to Chicago.
Network Will Make EV Ownership Possible for Chicago-Area Residents Who Don't Have Home Garage Charging, and More Convenient for Those Who Do
CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - February 18, 2011) - Today at the 2011 Chicago Auto Show Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and officials from the City of Chicago announced the selection of 350Green, a developer of electric vehicle (EV) charging networks, to design, build and operate a network of 280 EV charging stations throughout the Chicago area. The project is among the first and largest of its kind in the United States, and will help the City address two of the most vexing challenges facing widespread adoption of EVs: range anxiety and access to a garage for overnight charging. 350Green plans to install and operate its stations in partnership with retail hosts across high-traffic urban shopping centers and other places near where Chicago-area EV drivers live and work.
"This project will encourage greater use of green transportation alternatives by making electric vehicle use more convenient and accessible in one of the most heavily traveled cities in the country," said Governor Quinn. "Through strategic investments like this, we are encouraging long-term economic growth, supporting innovation and creating the jobs of today and tomorrow."
City of Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley said, "Chicago is on the cutting edge of national efforts to prepare for electric vehicles. When this project is completed, Chicago will have the most DC quick-charging stations of any city in the country, with only the entire State of California surpassing our station numbers." The City of Chicago and its Department of the Environment are helping facilitate the implementation of the project.
Much of the early focus around EV infrastructure has been on putting charging stations in the home garages of customers, which benefits only those who have a garage. Since many residents in Chicago do not have access to a garage, this effectively limits the number of people who can participate in the EV revolution.
"Our public charging stations with fast chargers will be widely and conveniently located near where residents live and work around Chicago," said Mariana Gerzanych, 350Green's founder and CEO. "Now, EV ownership becomes a possibility for anyone in Chicago, regardless of whether or not they have access to charging in a personal garage."
The development of the EV industry in Chicago will have benefits for both the environment and the economy. For example, a 10 percent conversion of petroleum-based vehicles to electric vehicles in the Chicago metro area could result in a reduction of 1.8 million tons of CO2 annually. Similarly, the reduction of gasoline use will lead to an estimated $525 million positive economic impact on the region every year.
The company also expects that construction, operation and management of the 73 DC Fast and 207 Level 2 charging stations, plus the opening of a nationwide customer support center, will create approximately 50 jobs in the greater Chicago area. The project is valued at $8.8 million, with public funding of up to $1.9 million. 350Green will fund the remaining $6.9 million.
350Green is a project developer that designs, builds and operates scalable networks of plug-in electric vehicle (EV) charging stations across the US. The company distributes its stations by partnering with retail hosts at select, high-traffic shopping centers and other places near where EV drivers live and work, to create the most expansive and convenient network of EV charging locations. More information on 350Green and its projects can be found at its website: www.350green.com.