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Chicago to Have 280 EV Charging Spots by End of 2011

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After in late 2010 the petrol capital of Houston has been announced the recipient of a $10 million investment in electric car recharging networks, it’s not Chicago’s turn, as utility Exelon, along with the city led by newly appointed Mayor Rahm Emanuel want to build 280 charging stations… by the end of 2011.

Exelon will use a smart grid approach, because the old infrastructure just isn’t enough to cope with the amount of electricity demanded in the near future. ComEd is the company managing Chicago’s grid, and they’re quite optimistic when it comes to EVs and PHEVs, whose usage they want to encourage.

“ComEd is preparing now for what may be a large influx of PHEVs in the market and managing its impact on the grid,” Kerry Kelly-Guiliano, the Exelon spokesperson, said in an email quoted by Grist, referring to plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. “And they are putting in place the charging infrastructure to demonstrate that Chicago is plug-in ready.”

Houston has plans of implementing the EV charging network on a 25 mile radius surrounding its center. Chicago’s, on the other hand, will be located both at malls and airports as well as along the Illinois Tollway in the city, in rest stops.

ComEd will be the first to test the network’s efficacy with a PHEV fleet (probably Chevy Volts). Too bad only two of those charging stations will be solar-powered, though…

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