I-GO Car Sharing and ComEd Introduce Plug-In Car-Share Vehicles to Downtown Chicago and South Loop
Governor Quinn recognizes I-GO and ComEd for their commitment to greening Illinois
CHICAGO—I-GO Car Sharing, a Chicago-based non-profit organization committed to reducing car ownership, transportation costs, traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions, took another major step toward the future of environmentally sustainable mobility by adding two plug-in hybrid electric vehicles to its citywide fleet. The cars—converted 2009 Toyota Priuses located in the Millennium Park north garage at 201 E. Randolph Street and in the AMLI 900 residential tower garage at 900 S. Clark Street—were generously funded by ComEd.
One of the cars will be available for viewing from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the James R. Thompson Center, 100 W. Randolph St., on the north side of Randolph between Clark and LaSalle streets. At 1:30 p.m., Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, I-GO Car Sharing CEO Sharon Feigon and ComEd Vice President Fidel Marquez will hold a press conference during the Governor’s Green Expo in the Thompson Center atrium.
These vehicles are the first step in a larger strategy to provide hybrid electric car-sharing vehicles throughout Chicago and, ultimately, other cities in Illinois. Hybrid electric vehicles can reduce dependence on fossil fuels, provide cost-effective transportation, and help the State of Illinois reduce its own expenses as well.
Thanks to the extra batteries in I-GO’s plug-in hybrids, the cars can get up to 100mpg for trips under 30 to 40 miles—an exceptional benefit for a car sharing company whose members use cars primarily for short trips. The increased fuel economy also results in lower energy costs and CO2 emissions—up to two-thirds over the standard Prius. By making these two cars available to I-GO’s thousands of members, both I-GO and ComEd hope to jump-start the electric-car learning curve and discern valuable information about how plug-ins can be integrated into a more expansive car-sharing model.
“We’ve been committed to environmentally sound policy since our inception. This takes us to the next level,” said Sharon Feigon, CEO of I-GO Car Sharing. “Plug-in hybrids will further reduce our use of fossil fuels and, in tandem with more charging stations and the ability of consumers to put power back on the grid, can provide more sustainable transportation. I-GO is working to integrate walking, biking, public transit and car sharing so that the people of Illinois can make environmentally sound decisions while getting where they want to go faster, cheaper and more conveniently.”
“As we celebrate Earth Week in Illinois, I want to salute I-GO Car Sharing and ComEd for recognizing the importance of making our state more sustainable,” said Governor Quinn.
“ComEd actively pursues opportunities to empower our customers with tools to make smart energy choices,” said Anne Pramaggiore, executive vice president, Customer Operations, Regulatory and External Affairs, ComEd. “ComEd’s support in converting these hybrids to plug-in electric cars will help our customers participating in the I-GO program take action to positively impact the environment.”
ComEd’s sponsorship is part of a larger effort to take the utility’s system into the future and meet customers’ ever-expanding information needs, such as through the proposed initial phase of northern Illinois’ own Smart Grid deployment. Advances in technology provide opportunity to transform delivery of power.
I-GO maintains car locations in more than 30 communities across Chicago, Evanston, and Oak Park, with plans to expand farther into the suburbs this summer and—as partnership opportunities present themselves—into other urban areas throughout Illinois as well. I-GO members have hourly, 24/7, smart-card access to low-emission, energy-efficient vehicles (often within a five-minute walk of their home or business), which they reserve online or by phone. Members do not pay for gas or insurance.
I-GO’s outreach extends to residents, businesses, and university and college campuses. In January 2009, the organization partnered with CTA to create the Chicago Card Plus/I-GO joint smart card to encourage the integration of public transit and car sharing in a more expansive, sustainable, and economical transit system. Survey research indicates that adopting car sharing helps families save as much as $4,000 a year on transportation costs, which typically average around $7,300. I-GO also estimates it has taken 4,600 vehicles off the roads in Chicago, resulting in annual reductions of 33,800 tons of CO2 to date.
I-GO was established in 2002 by the Center for Neighborhood Technology, a creative think-and-do tank that, since 1978, has combined rigorous research with effective solutions for promoting urban sustainability.
Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), one of the nation’s largest electric utilities with approximately 5.4 million customers. ComEd provides service to approximately 3.8 million customers across Northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population.
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