Gov. JB Pritzker has said Illinois could see more than a million electric vehicles on the road by 2030. That’s good news for the environment and drivers looking to save money on gas. But there are concerns that minority and low-income communities will not have enough charging stations to meet that growing demand.
Today, there are an estimated 40,000 Illinois drivers behind the wheel of an electric vehicle.
On Chicago’s North Side, for example, there’s several stations for those drivers to use.
But that valuable infrastructure can be tough to find in McKinley Park, Little Village, Bronzeville and other neighborhoods throughout the South and West Sides.
“We have 77 neighborhoods in Chicago,” Neda Deylami, an electric vehicle advocate, said. “Forty-four of them don’t have any public chargers.”
Advocates say the state can access public dollars to install charging stations.
But progress has been slow, raising concerns that minority and low-income communities will be left behind.
“That leadership needs to come from the governor’s office to get that money out there,” Brian Urbaszewski, director of environmental health at Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago, said.