Electric car or ev is charging at station . man use the white power cable and plug on nature background. eco and clean energy concept with the mobile phone smart technology. zero gas and no transmission.

Last month, ComEd and the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus announced that 16 suburbs will comprise the inaugural cohort of communities to participate in their EV Readiness Program, an initiative launched earlier this year “to help local governments prepare to meet the growing demand for electric vehicles (EVs) and EV charging infrastructure,” according to a statement the entities released Nov. 30.

Oak Park and nearby Maywood were the only two west suburbs included in the inaugural cohort.

ComEd officials described the new EV program during the June 23 signing ceremony of the Cross Community Climate Collaborative (C4) at Triton College. The C4 initiative is a coalition of a few dozen west suburbs that have pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 100% by 2050.

“Your communities are preparing to meet the demand for EV infrastructure,” said Michael Fountain, ComEd’s vice president of governmental affairs. Fountain said the $225,000 ComEd will spend to fund the new program will “provide the training and support needed to implement safe and smart EV policies and practices.”

ComEd and Caucus officials said in their joint statement that the EV Readiness Program 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.”

Officials said cohort members will start work early this month and are expected to achieve “EV Ready Community” designation status within six to nine months. The Caucus expects the second cohort of municipalities and counties to start in 2023.

Electric vehicles currently account for roughly 6% of new car sales in the country, according to Cox Automotive, with some experts expecting EV sales to account for roughly half of new vehicle sales by 2030.

The growth will largely be due to state and federal policies, such as the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA) that passed the Illinois legislature last year and President Joe Biden’s climate bill that passed earlier this year.

In addition, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle recently announced $5.5 million in funding for the Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Program, designed to increase public EV charging stations throughout the suburbs.

To help residents navigate their 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.”

CONTACT: michael@oakpark.com

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