Our Chicago: Increasing electric cars in Illinois, reducing emissions

ByABC 7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Monday, July 19, 2021
Our Chicago

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A number of electric vehicles are at this year's Chicago Auto show, including Kia's E-6 and the Ford F-150 Lightning.

While visitors check them out at the auto show, Gov. JB Pritzker wants to see more of them on Illinois roads. He set a goal of one million by the year 2030.

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Illinois Deputy Governor Dan Hynes said Illinois is looking to bring more electric cars and charging stations across the state.

The state is taking several steps to make that happen. Illinois Deputy Governor Dan Hynes said the state is making great strides. However, he said Illinois must support the "purchase and use" of electric vehicles. Toward that end, the governor has proposed a $4000 tax rebate for the purchase of electric vehicles.

There are plans to add more charging stations across Illinois.

"It's not enough just to have people driving vehicles here. We want them to actually build those vehicles here," Hynes said.

The state has had some recent successes with both Rivian coming to Normal and Lion Electric to Joliet.

"It means thousands of jobs, and jobs not only for today but for the future. Electric vehicle manufacturing is the future, and we are way ahead of it and that's great," Hynes said.

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Jack Darin, director at Illinois Sierra Club, said transportation is the biggest contributer of climate change.

Jobs are not the only benefit. The Sierra Club of Illinois said gas and diesel emissions are the largest source of climate pollution in the state.

"Transportation, when it comes to climate change, transportation is now the number one source of the emissions that are contributing to the climate crisis," said Jack Darin, director at Sierra Club of Illinois.

He said we still have a chance to make deep reductions in those and a lot of them have to come from the transportation sector.

Darin said right now, EVs are best suited for people "whose commutes are under 50 miles a day and have access to charging." He said building up that charging infrastructure is key to making electric vehicles accessible to everyone.