EV Ready program helps local governments prepare for the growing demand for EVs in Illinois
CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–ComEd and the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus (Caucus) today celebrated the first class of communities to complete the EV Readiness Program, created to help local governments prepare for the growth of electric vehicles (EVs) and charging infrastructure across northern Illinois. In total, 12 diverse municipalities were recognized at an awards event for their work to achieve the designation of “EV Ready Community.” Through the program, communities have taken steps to develop permitting for EV charging infrastructure, conduct training for local staff, and implement plans that engage the community and ensure a safe integration of zero-emissions vehicles.
“ComEd is committed to working with communities across the state and the region to accelerate the adoption of EVs – which are proven to lower emissions and create cleaner air for our communities,” said Louie Binswanger, ComEd Senior Vice President of Governmental Regulatory and External Affairs. “We are proud to partner with the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus on the EV Readiness program, which recognizes the crucial role our municipal partners play in our move to a clean energy economy. Congratulations to the first 12 municipalities for taking action to shape a more sustainable future and for putting us closer to achieving our clean transportation goals.”
The EV Readiness program was launched by ComEd and the Caucus last year to help prepare municipalities to accommodate the growing number of EVs in Illinois, sparked in large part to the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA), which includes a goal of adding one million EVs by 2030. Today, nearly 88,000 EVs are registered in Illinois, with nearly 78,000 in northern Illinois, up from roughly 53,000 in northern Illinois in 2022.
“Illinois’s electric vehicle manufacturing and adoption are booming and initiatives like the EV Readiness program help put our state further down the road to a clean energy future,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “These communities have built out an infrastructure that eases the process of buying and owning a zero-emission vehicle, and I’m grateful to ComEd and to all the local leaders who worked to make these designations possible.”
Twelve municipalities have been designated an EV Ready Community through the program. They include:
- Carol Stream
- Deer Park
- Hanover Park
- Oak Park
- University Park
“Urban or rural, big or small – diverse communities are demonstrating that they have what it takes to be EV ready,” said Kevin Burns, Mayor of the City of Geneva and Executive Board Chairman and Environment Committee Chairman of the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus. “Working in partnership with ComEd, the EV Readiness Program is guiding municipalities to craft smart and effective local policies that will promote a seamless and equitable EV integration across our region.”
Municipalities in the program were required to complete several core “EV Readiness Actions” including updated zoning codes to support new charging infrastructure, new permitting and inspection processes aligned with state and national standards to guide safe installation of charging equipment, and training for first responders on incidents involving EVs. EV Ready Communities also created online EV resources to educate residents and businesses about EVs. The EV Readiness Program will also serve as a model for a new multi-state program funded by the US Department of Energy and led by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council to prepare municipalities for transportation electrification.
“The dedication demonstrated by these communities in embracing the electric vehicle future exemplifies the spirit of innovation and progress that drives Illinois forward,” said U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL). “That’s why I worked to secure $500,000 for the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus municipal EV readiness project. I commend the efforts of local leaders, businesses, and community members who have come together to make this vision a reality, and look forward to witnessing more communities across Illinois and the nation move towards a greener tomorrow.”
The EV Readiness Program is guided by a comprehensive EV Readiness Checklist of 131 possible municipal actions. The program was developed by a coalition of over 70 regional partners including local mayors, managers, and other local government staff members, as well as representatives from councils of governments, regional planning organizations, Argonne National Laboratory, EV charging station companies, IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers), and ComEd.
To earn the title of EV Ready Community, local governments were required to meet at least “Bronze” level designation on the checklist, with at least 27 activities fulfilled. To reach Silver or Gold status, participating communities had to complete additional activities. Oak Park is the only community in this cohort awarded the Gold designation.
“To achieve the goals laid out in our Climate Ready Oak Park plan, which include a 60 percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, Oak Park is working to establish policies that will accelerate EV adoption in our community,” said Oak Park Village President Vicki Scaman. “Achieving the EV Ready gold standard underscores the actions we’ve taken to lower emissions in transportation and support cleaner air for our community.”
The program is also helping municipalities integrate EV charging infrastructure into plans for future growth – with Oak Park, Deer Park, University Park and Darien all recently adopting local policies designed to increase EV charging in new construction projects.
“To realize equitable EV Readiness across the region, all communities should have the opportunity to innovate and collaborate,” said Elizabeth Scott, Village Manager, Village of University Park. “Working with other municipalities, the Caucus and ComEd in the EV Readiness Program helped our village best target our limited resources to programs and policies that will bring the benefits of EVs to the Village of University Park and Chicago’s Southland.”
“We joined the first cohort of communities working together to earn EV Readiness one year ago. At the time, we planned to get our zoning codes and permitting processes ready for the future increase in electric vehicles in our City,” said Sydney Bartelt, City Clerk of the City of Polo. “Just one year later, we installed our first public EV charging station and have seen electric vehicle registrations increase 400%. We are so glad to be an EV Ready Community!”
The EV Readiness program launched last year with support from ComEd and will continue to serve qualifying communities through the next two years as part of ComEd’s investment to expand electrification announced earlier this year. To remove barriers to EV and other high efficiency technologies for more customers in the region, ComEd’s plans include investments in education, like this program, as well as a series of rebates, make ready infrastructure and pilot studies next year with a goal of alleviating upfront costs and increasing widespread EV and fleet adoption over the next three years.
To learn more on the benefits of EVs, and how ComEd can support your electrification project, please visit www.comed.com/cleanenergy. To learn about participating in the EV Readiness Program, please visit the Caucus’ website.
ComEd is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NASDAQ: EXC), a Fortune 250 energy company with approximately 10 million electricity and natural gas customers – the largest number of customers in the U.S. ComEd powers the lives of more than 4 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population. For more information visit ComEd.com, and connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
ComEd Media Relations