On June 5th, the Illinois EPA announced $12.6 million in grants for electric vehicle charging infrastructure. These grants will fund 348 new charging stations for EVs at 87 locations across the state. This investment in an electrified transportation system is a victory for our climate and for cleaner air.
Transportation is America’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, with cars, SUVs and small trucks responsible for the vast majority of that pollution. Because electric vehicles produce zero tailpipe emissions, replacing gas- and diesel-powered vehicles with them reduces air pollution. Charging an electric vehicle already produces fewer climate-warming emissions than driving a gas-powered car, and as the U.S. transitions to more clean, renewable energy, the combination of electric vehicles and their power sources will become even cleaner.
The grants announced this week are being made through funds from Illinois’ share of the VW Settlement. These funds were designed to be used for transportation projects that reduce pollution in an effort to mitigate the harm done by Volkswagen through their emissions cheating. Illinois PIRG Education Fund and Environment Illinois Research & Education Center called for the state’s plan to take full advantage of this opportunity to invest in transportation electrification and we applaud the announcement of charging infrastructure that will take us toward a clean transportation future.