|Jul 21, 2011
||Posted By: Mark Bilek
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At the 2011 Chicago Auto Show last February Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and electric-infrastructure developer 350Green announced a program to design and build more than 250 EV charging stations throughout the Chicago area. At the time it seemed odd because the two most prominent electric vehicles, the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf, weren't going to be available at local dealerships until early next year--at the earliest.
Well, both Nissan and Chevrolet have put their money where their mouth is and bumped up the delivery schedule to Illinois. The Leaf and Volt were scheduled to go on sale in Illinois in 2012, but that timetable has been moved up and you can now order both vehicles from local Chevy and Nissan dealerships. Initial Volts and Leafs will now hit the streets this fall.
Ford's got some stake in the game too. The Blue Oval is already selling an electric version of the Transit Connect cargo van and later this year it will be selling the Focus Electric. Also on the horizon is a plug-in version of the Toyota Prius and an all electric Toyota RAV4. They are scheduled to arrive in Chicago Toyota dealerships in the first half of 2012.
According to an article in the Chicago Sun-Times, there are already 150 electric-vehicle charging stations in Chicagoland. They are supplied by Chicago-based Carbon-Day Automotive and are available in public and private garages. Carbon Day intends to install an additional 350 charging stations by the end of 2011.
You can get more information and pre-order the Volt and Leaf by going to the manufacturer Web sites.