Route 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.

The group includes automakers as well as the state of Illinois and UC Davis and is setting aside about $1 million for the project. All told, about eight cities along the 300-mile stretch between Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River will get charging facilities, with at least one fast-charging station in each of the cities, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says. The goal is to finish that stretch of plug-in stations by next summer, at which point Illinois-based plug-in drivers can "get their kicks" with relative impunity.

Historic Route 66 was officially decertified in 1985 as the US interstate system usurped much of its usefulness. The route spanned about 2,400 miles from Chicago to Santa Monica, CA. Interestingly enough, the world's first International Electric Vehicle Museum opened along an Arizona stretch of Route 66 earlier this year. Take a look at the "Electric Highway Route 66 for a new generation" Facebook page (yes, there is one) here.

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