Our Chicago: Increasing electric cars in Illinois, reducing emissions

CHICAGO (WLS) – Several electric models are on display at this year’s Chicago Auto Show, including Kia’s E-6 and the Ford F-150 Lightning.

While visitors see them at the auto show, Governor JB Pritzker wants to see more of them on the roads of Illinois. He set a goal of one million people by 2030.

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The state is taking a number of steps to make that a reality. Illinois Deputy Governor Dan Hynes said the state is making great strides. However, he said Illinois must support the “purchase and use” of electric vehicles. To that end, the governor proposed a $4000 tax break for electric vehicle purchases.

There are plans to add more charging stations throughout Illinois.

“Just having people drive here isn’t enough. We want them to actually build those vehicles here,” Hynes said.

Bang has had some recent success with both Rivian to Normal and Lion Electric to Joliet.

“It means thousands of jobs, and jobs not just for today but for the future. Electric vehicle manufacturing is the future, and we’re ahead and that’s amazing,” Hynes said.

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Employment is not the only benefit. The Sierra Club of Illinois says emissions and diesel are the state’s biggest sources of climate pollution.

“Transportation, when it comes to climate change, is now the number one source of emissions contributing to the climate crisis,” said Jack Darin, director of the Sierra Club of Illinois.

“We still have a chance to cut those deep,” he said, and most of that must come from the transportation sector.

Darin said right now, EVs are best suited for people “whose commutes are under 50 miles a day and have access to charging.” He said building charging infrastructure is key to making electric vehicles accessible to everyone.

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Huynh Nguyen

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