WASHINGTON, D.C. (WTVO) — The Biden administration has awarded $53.7 million to Illinois to build an electric vehicle charging network along the state’s highways.
The funds, established by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will allow Illinois to install approximately 2,573 public charging ports every 50 miles along 1,562 miles of interstates.
“America led the original automotive revolution in the last century, and today, thanks to the historic resources in the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we’re poised to lead in the 21st century with electric vehicles,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “We have approved plans for all 50 States, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia to help ensure that Americans in every part of the country – from the largest cities to the most rural communities—can be positioned to unlock the savings and benefits of electric vehicles.”
All states were required to submit plans for their EV charging infrastructure to the White House for how to spend the funds. Illinois missed out on the first round of approvals.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law allocated a total of $5 billion over 5 years to states for funding EV charging stations.
Biden has a goal of ultimately installing 500,000 chargers across America and building a network of fast-charging stations across 53,000 miles of freeways from coast to coast.
Most “destination chargers” found in some parking lots today, offer alternating current (AC) Level 2 charging at 240-volts, which can take several hours to charge an EV.
The federal plan requires Direct Current Fast Charging (DCFC) high voltage to enable some vehicles to fully recharge in 15 minutes, depending on the capability of the vehicle.
Rockford currently has one Electrify America location, in the Sam’s Club parking lot, at 7151 Walton Street, that meets federal requirements that charging stations offer both standard CCS (combined charging station) fast-charging plugs, and at least one CHAdeMO plug (used by Nissan Leaf).
Rockford also has two Tesla Superchargers, but they use proprietary connectors that work solely on Tesla vehicles. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said that future installations of Superchargers will use CCS connectors and be open to all EVs.
Illinois currently has 1,005 publicly accessible charging stations, but only 96 are fast charging stations. Of those, the plan reports that only 21 support the power level required by the federal government.
Part of Illinois’ plan would include the installation of a public DCFC station in Rochelle and another in Minonk, along I-39. Currently, the next DCFC station south of Rockford along I-39 is in Bloomington.