Evanston could soon have three solar charging stations for electric cars in public parking lots, instead of the two originally proposed.

Evanston aldermen Monday night approved installing one at the parking lot in the 1700 block of  Chicago Avenue downtown near the Evanston Public Library.

They had previously approved plans for a station at a parking lot on Central Street at Stewart Avenue in north Evanston.

And, after learning that the I-Go Car Sharing service that has received grant funding for the electric vehicle charging program might be able to install a third station in Evanston, the aldermen also approved two possible south Evanston sites for that third location — a lot at Hinman Avenue and Main Street, or a lot at Chicago Avenue and Howard Street.

Each of the canopies will cover four parking spaces and the non-profit car-sharing service will park two of its own electric vehicles there. The other two parking spaces would be available for privately-owned vehicles.

Top: An example of a solar canopy for electric vehicle charging. Above: I-Go CEO Sharon Feigon speaking to aldermen Monday.

I-Go CEO Sharon Feigon urged the City Council to act quickly on the proposal Monday night, saying that under terms of the state grant decisions about the locations of the stations had to be made this week so the canopies could be built this year.

The program willo install the charging stations at a total of 18 locations around the metro area, including sites in Chicago and Oak Park.

The library lot location had originally been opposed by Alderman Judy Fiske, 1st Ward, who said she feared that lot was too crowded. This week she said that after conferring with officials of the Woman’s Club of Evanston, which uses the lot for special events, she was less concerned about that issue.

She said she still had concerns about the appearance of the canopy — given that the lot is located between two historic landmark properties — the WCTU headquarters and the Woman’s Club — but she ended up voting for the measure.

Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, pushed for adding the Howard Street location to the list, saying many people in that area don’t have cars because on-street parking is so congested.

Update 3:02 p.m.: In a phone interview this afternoon Feigon said I-Go was still deciding which site to use as the third location in Evanston, but that the Hinman and Main location appeared to be the most promising.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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