An electric vehicle road trip organized by the Illinois Green Economy Network and 10 participating community colleges made its final stop recently at the College of Lake County in Grayslake.
A reception and information event was held on the lawn just east of the Physical Education Center, Building 7, where an electric vehicle charging station will be located.
The Electric Vehicle Road Trip from June 23-25 was designed to celebrate network successes in advancing EV infrastructure throughout Illinois. It also was intended to show progress of Illinois Community College EV Highway; promote further deployment of EV infrastructure; and raise awareness about EV technology and the environmental issues that necessitate a move to a more sustainable transportation infrastructure.
Event organizers also wanted the event to ease the fears of potential EV consumers.
"The electric vehicle has come a long way in just the last five years, but even as sales rise, some pesky problems persist," said Nate Keener, director of sustainability at Lewis and Clark College and lead organizer for the event.
"Range anxiety and battery concerns, for example, continue to plague the mind of the potential electronic vehicle consumer. The fear of running out of charge and being stuck without a place to recharge keeps many people from purchasing.
"With this trip, we hope to chase away some of those fears and show that it actually is possible to drive great distances in electric and hybrid vehicles."
The EV Road Trip started at John A. Logan College in Carterville and headed north over three days with a crew of two to four people who rotated in and out of the car at strategic stops along the way.
The car was staffed by community college sustainability professionals, students and Illinois Green Economy Network staff.
Illinois has an estimated 4,928 registered plug-in cars and 450 public and private charging stations, including the densest network of fast charging stations in the United States.
IGEN is a consortium of all 39 Illinois community college districts across the state working to grow the green economy of Illinois. Its mission is to provide a platform for collaboration among all Illinois community colleges and their partners to drive growth of the green economy.
IGEN's statewide cooperative approach leverages the power of a sustainability network with the deep community connections of individual colleges to expand deployment of clean energy technologies, increase employment opportunities, improve environmental and human health, foster community engagement and accelerate market competitiveness.
The Illinois Green Economy Network was launched in 2008 to green campuses, curriculum, communities and careers. Visit www.igencc.org.
In 2011, in support of IGEN's work to grow the green economy in Illinois, a grant was awarded to a consortium of 17 IGEN colleges. The U.S. Department of Labor Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grant named the College of Lake County as the administrative agent to create 32 degree and certificate programs.