ComEd and the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus (Caucus) today announced the inaugural cohort of communities participating in the EV Readiness Program, a unique initiative launched earlier this year to help local governments prepare to meet the growing demand for electric vehicles (EVs) and EV charging infrastructure. Funded in part with a $225,000 commitment from ComEd, the EV Readiness Program will help communities streamline policies and implement best practices for safe and effective regional transportation electrification.
EVs – which provide cost savings, environmental and health benefits for communities – continue to grow in popularity and are expected to account for 50 percent of new vehicle sales by 2030. This is thanks in large part to the increased availability of state and federal incentives, and to Illinois’ landmark Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA) passed in 2021, which calls for 1 million EVs on the road by 2030. Through programs like EV Readiness, ComEd is working with customers and community partners across the region to prepare for this influx and to help them meet goals for sustainability and EV adoption.
“Working alongside partners at the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus and others in the region, ComEd is helping eliminate barriers so that our communities from every corner of northern Illinois have a chance to access the benefits of EVs, which lower tailpipe emissions and bring cleaner air into our communities,” said ComEd CEO Gil C. Quiniones. “Congratulations to the inaugural cohort of the EV Readiness Program. We look forward to working together so that more Illinois residents can unlock the benefits of EVs safely and equitably.”
Program participants will focus on policy development related to EV infrastructure, permitting, and safety, and support community engagement. Additionally, by building local capacity for EV integration, this program will help remove barriers that smaller communities may face in vying for state and federal funding to expand EV charging infrastructure – a key component to ensuring equitable access to EVs for residents across the region.
“The EV Readiness Program is the first of its kind, and working together across the region is not new to us,” said Kevin Burns, Caucus Environment Committee and Energy Subcommittee Chairman. “Members of the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus have successfully collaborated to create the first Climate Action for the Chicago Region and to advance solar adoption in a similar cohort-based manner. ComEd is just the right partner to leverage our strengths as local government to achieve EV Readiness.”
The first cohort selected by the Caucus includes a diverse mix of 16 communities across the region:
- Carol Stream
- Deer Park
- Hanover Park
- Kane County
- Oak Park
- Richton Park
- University Park
Through the program, EV Readiness cohort members will follow a pathway toward EV Ready Bronze, Silver, or Gold designation, achieving status by taking action in several categories related to EV adoption and infrastructure.
“Our aim is to make it faster, easier, and more affordable for our residents and businesses to install EV charging stations in our community,” said City of Darien Mayor Joe Marchese. “Darien has adopted the Greenest Region Compact, our region’s consensus sustainability pledge. The EV Readiness Program will help us achieve the sustainable transportation goals in the Compact.”
“We are thrilled to be a part of the first EV Readiness Program cohort,” said Village of Maywood Mayor Nathaniel George Booker. “We hope our work to become EV ready will guide future investments in EVs and EV charging infrastructure in Maywood.”
“We want to ensure we are prepared for the expected surge in electric vehicles in the coming years and funding opportunities that will go along with this,” said Village of Richton Park Mayor Rick Reinbold. “Joining the EV Readiness Program will help us do just that, and it will assist us in bringing the benefits of EV technology to more Richton Park residents, regardless of where they live or what their income level is.”
Extensive input from over 300 individuals representing local governments, regional organizations, environmental organizations, and the EV industry helped inform the criteria for the EV Readiness Program. Members of the cohort begin work in early December and are expected to achieve “EV Ready Community” designation status within six to nine months. The Caucus expects a second cohort of municipalities and counties will start in 2023.
The EV Readiness Program is the latest example of how ComEd is working to help communities unlock the benefits of EVs. To support broad-based EV growth in the region, ComEd has put forward a Beneficial Electrification proposal to the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) that would expand investments in fleet electrification, make-ready infrastructure and other customer resources to lower barriers to electrification across the region, including but not limited to EVs. The proposal is focused on areas most disproportionately impacted by pollution, and a ruling by the ICC is anticipated early next year.
Additionally, to support residential customers with navigating EV options, ComEd has created an EV Toolkit – an all-in-one resource providing information and tips on available resources and rebates, rate plans and cost savings options, where to find charging stations, and more.
For more information on the benefits of EVs or to receive support from ComEd on an electrification project, customers are encouraged to visit ComEd’s website. For more information on the EV Readiness Program, please visit the Caucus’ website.