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9Route 66 starts plugging in through the Midwest

Three hundred miles down, 2,100 to go. Green-car advocates can soon travel a bit of American history thanks to a public-private collaboration that is stringing together some plug-in vehicle charging stations along the Illinois stretch of historic Route 66. Heck, maybe there will be some wind-powered electricity from Chicago.

14Recharge Wrap-up: Toyota FCV wears silver, Foxconn's $15K EV, solar power at GM

And Who Wants To Go On An EV Road Trip Across Illinois?

The Toyota FCV made its North American debut at the 2014 Aspen Ideas Festival, and this time it's not sporting its usual blue sheet metal. This silver paint job shows a bit more contrast. Certain features stand out a bit more, especially the black strip that wraps around the grille and down the sides of the hood to the mirrors. This is the production version of the car's exterior, which will go on sale in California next summer. Toyota also had its Driver Awareness Research Vehicle, DARV 1.5, on

31Cameron's house from Ferris Bueller finally sells for $1M

We don't typically report on real estate here at Autoblog, but what we have here is no ordinary building or plot of land. This Chicago-area house was immortalized in the 1986 classic Ferris Bueller's Day Off as the childhood home of Cameron Frye, Bueller's best friend, but more importantly, as home to the (fortunately replicated) Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder that played, as much as Matthew Broderick himself, a starring role in the film.

10Innova Dash NEV offers 90 miles of 35-mph cruising for $13,000

The latest in the charging-range-per-dollar market offering? Try $3,000 for about 45 miles. Sadly, it's the second 45 miles.

25L1 Power Post offers low-cost Level 1 charging for EVs

One Illinois-based company is taking the "slow and steady wins the race" approach to public plug-in vehicle chargers. Telefonix, which has specialized in making retractable cord reels largely used in the aviation industry, is looking to drum up interest in its L1 Power Post, which is what the company says will be the first Level 1 charging station designed for public use, according to Plug In Cars.

AddMitsubishi i available for just $69 a month in this outrageous lease

O'Brien Mitsubishi, based in Normal, IL, is offering something way outside the norm: an absurdly low lease price – the cheapest we've ever seen – for on an electric vehicle.

31DOE's new Energy Storage Hub a "Manhattan Project" for better batteries

This could be big. The US Department of Energy has announced a five-year, $120-million award for a team of 14 companies, universities and national laboratories led by Argonne National Laboratory that will be charged with creating next-generation batteries for use in vehicles and the grid. In short, a sort of "Manhattan Project" for advanced EV packs.

8Bears blanking Packers could win you free car

The emphasis, in this case, rests heavily on the word "could." The mere question of a bet between two folks at Sawicki Motors in Rochelle, Illinois ultimately resulted in the dealership's general manager, Ron Matula, offering anyone a free car if the Chicago Bears can shut out the Green Bay Packers on Christmas Day.

73Clerk tries to get deputy's son's citation fixed, accidentally faxes request to newspaper

We're not sure what's more amusing about this story, the obvious and clichéd abuse of power or the retro charm of dialing the wrong fax number. C'mon, who even faxes anymore? We've gotten so used to people getting busted by accidentally e-mailing everyone in their address book or slipping up on Facebook that we almost feel sorry for the clerk in question, entangled by '90s technology. Almost.

Add2012 Mitsubishi i electric vehicle is totally Normal in Illinois

It's all normal in Normal, Illinois. That's the gist of Mitsubishi's latest commercial pitching its upcoming 2012 i electric vehicle.

27Illinois town builds own track for consumer test drives

If you're shopping for a vehicle near Naperville, Illinois, you may have a chance to put your possible purchases through the gauntlet on at a new facility. The town has joined forces with local dealers to create a driving course that would reduce the number of test drives on public streets and give buyers a better sense of the type of vehicle they were purchasing before they signed on the dotted line. The course features a variety of pavement types, a small parking area and even a sprinkler syst

128Illinois considers letting bikers ride through red lights [w/poll]

If you've ever ridden on two wheels, the following scenario might sound familiar: You pull up to a red light on your motorbike, scooter, bicycle, what-have-you, and you wait for it to change. And you wait, and wait and wait. The problem is likely that your wheels haven't triggered the sensor embedded in the pavement. So what do you do? Sit and wait some more, knowing that the light won't change? Or go through the red light and risk getting a ticket?

28Report: Mitsubishi building crossovers and sedans Stateside in two years

2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport – Click above for high-res image gallery

33Price dropped on Cameron's home from Ferris Bueller's Day Off

"It's like a museum... It's very beautiful and very cold" – Click above for high-res image gallery

40Chicago inching closer to freeway congestion charges?

Chicago ranks number three on the list of cities with the worst traffic. Following a study by the Municipal Planning Council and the Illinois Tollway, one suggested way to remedy the issue is the introduction of congestion pricing on Chicago-area toll roads. This isn't the flat-fee congestion charge from London, but rather the supply-and-demand based flexible pricing already adopted on toll roads in California and Minneapolis: at peak times, the toll goes up, during off-hours the toll drops.

AddChicago inching closer to freeway congestion charges?

Chicago ranks number three on the list of cities with the worst traffic. Following a study by the Municipal Planning Council and the Illinois Tollway, one suggested way to remedy the issue is the introduction of congestion pricing on Chicago-area toll roads. This isn't the flat-fee congestion charge from London, but rather the supply-and-demand based flexible pricing already adopted on toll roads in California and Minneapolis: at peak times, the toll goes up, during off-hours the toll drops.

29Report: Senator to investigate GM's handling of Hummer deal

General Motors has already begun turning the lights off at its Hummer brand, though that may be no fault of multiple potential buyers. We're not just talking interested parties from China here, either. According to brand enthusiast website HummerGuy, several American-based companies have expressed viable interest in snapping up the SUV-slinging manufacturer over the past few months. Even more surprisingly, all of the potential offers have reportedly fallen on deaf ears.

40Next-gen Ford Explorer will bring 1,200 new jobs to Chicago

2011 Ford Explorer Spy Shots - Click above for high-res image gallery

36PSA: One in 10 Illinois license plates may be defective

Wondering what exactly constitutes as a 'defective' license plate? So were we. Apparently, roughly 1.1 million license plates were issued in Illinois between 2001 and 2003 with a reflective coating that can bubble and peel away. This causes multiple side effects, some of them worse than others – the plates can rust, which is bad... but it also makes them more difficult to read by police officers. Ticket... what ticket? Not surprisingly, the Illinois Secretary of State's office is concerned

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