Evanston city officials say electric car charging stations will be installed in three public parking lots starting next week.
Planning for the I-Go Car Sharing solar canopies and charging stations began in last October after the City Council approved location for three stations.
The solar canopies and charging stations will allow I-Go to add low emission electric vehicles to their fleet of cars available for rental. Each solar canopy will occupy a total of four parking spaces.
I-Go has agreed to pay a monthly lease for the two vehicles at each parking lot; the remaining two spots will be available to the public for electric vehicle charging.
“Transportation emissions are the third largest contributor of greenhouse gases in the community and the I-Go car sharing program helps to reduce emissions, congestion on the road and parking demands,” said Catherine Hurley, the city's sustainable programs coordinator.
The charging stations will be located in lots at Central Street and Stewart Avenue, on Chicago Avenue near the downtown library and on Hinman Avenue south of Main Street.
Construction is expected to take about six weeks.
I-Go has eleven vehicles in Evanston, and residents are able to rent a car whenever the need arises. The addition of electric vehicles to I-Go’s car sharing program will allow Evanston to have cars in the community that have a lower carbon footprint.
Each charging station includes solar charging capabilities that power two electric vehicles. The electricity produced by these canopies amounts to about 200,000 kilowatt-hours annually and will power up to 600,000 miles driven every year.
The car sharing services that will be provided by I-Go are backed by several grants, including one from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation.
The U.S. Department of Energy cites electrically powered vehicles as energy efficient and environmentally friendly.