Evanston looks to state rebates for addition of electric car charging stations

Paige Leskin, City Editor

Evanston plans to add electric car charging stations to a local parking garage, allowing the city to take advantage of state rebates which would cut the costs of the stations’ purchase and installation.

The city’s 2015 budget allots money for the incorporation of charging stations at the Sherman Plaza Parking Garage, the city’s sustainable programs coordinator Catherine Hurley said Thursday in an email to The Daily.

If the budget is approved, the stations would be installed in the garage in spring 2015, Hurley said.

The spring installation would make the city eligible for the fall 2014 cycle of the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Rebate Program, an initiative from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. Applications for the program recently opened.

The effort aims to develop electric vehicle industry and infrastructure by offering rebates that cover up to 50 percent of the equipment and installation costs for charging stations, according to the DCEO’s site.

The city can qualify for up to $50,000 of funding for the stations. Government units, businesses, educational institutions and individual residents are eligible to apply for the rebate.

To apply, Evanston must purchase and install its new stations before asking for funding. The DCEO is accepting applications until Apr. 16, 2015.

The first charging stations in Evanston were installed in February in the Maple Parking Garage and qualified for the 2013 cycle of rebates, Hurley said. In its first month, the dual connection vehicle station, which cost less than $12,000, served about 80 individual uses.

Due to the station’s success, the city looked into expanding its program to include other parking garages.

In addition to the Maple Parking Garage, other parking lots throughout the city are equipped with charging stations as part of a partnership with Chicago-based car-sharing service I-GO, Hurley said.

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Twitter: @paigeleskin