CTA Approves Solar-Powered Charging Station for I-GO Electric Vehicles at Kimball Brown Line Stop
The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) has approved the installation of an I-GO Car Sharing solar-powered charging station for two electric vehicles at the park and ride lot adjacent to the Brown Line Kimball El station. This is the first solar-powered charging station announced on CTA property.
I-GO recently announced its groundbreaking electric vehicle project that will add 36 all-electric vehicles to its fleet and 18 solar charging stations to provide clean power to its cars. Once completed, I-GO will have the largest electric vehicle fleet in the Midwest, and it will use more solar power to charge electric vehicles than anywhere else in the country.
“CTA has long supported initiatives that reduce emissions and promote sustainability—two main goals of the transit services we offer,” said CTA President Forrest Claypool. “Car sharing is a great complement to public transit.”
“I-GO is committed to being at the forefront of car sharing technology and sustainability, and providing pollution-free electric vehicles to our members is part of that commitment,” said Sharon Feigon, CEO of I-GO. “Our forward-looking public and private sector partners understand the value of clean transportation options and are working with I-GO to make them available to their customers and constituents.”
Each solar charging station will form a canopy that covers four parking spaces and will be able to power two electric vehicles. The Kimball canopy will cover two electric cars, one regular low-emissions I-GO vehicle, and one spot for the general public. Each canopy will be topped with 44 solar panels, for a capacity of 10 kilowatts. In aggregate, the canopies will produce about 200,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity annually, which will power as much as 600,000 miles driven per year. As a result, I-GO and its members could save as many as 17,000 gallons of gasoline each year. The company 350Green will install the solar canopies. To see a rendering of the canopies, visit: http://www.igocars.org/2011/11/30/solar-canopies/
Today’s announcement marks the latest effort by CTA to promote car-sharing services as a complement to public transit. In 2009, the CTA and I-GO began offering a joint smart card that allows a seamless transfer between public transit and an I-GO vehicle. The Chicago Card Plus I-GO card is the only one of its kind in the nation.
In addition to the new CTA location at the Kimball Brown Line stop, the other solar canopy locations include
- JEWEL-OSCO at 5516 N. Clark
- JEWEL-OSCO at 5343 N. Broadway
- JEWEL-OSCO at 101 W. 87th Street
- JEWEL-OSCO at 438 W. Madison, Oak Park
- City of Evanston Municipal Lot #3 at 1702 Chicago Avenue
- City of Evanston Municipal Lot #4 at 2122 Central Street
- City of Evanston Municipal Lot #32 at 825 Hinman Avenue
- Village of Oak Park lot in the 1100 block of North Boulevard, between Marion and Forest
- Village of Oak Park Village Hall at 123 Madison
- Uncommon Ground at 1401 West Devon
- Illinois Institute of Technology at 3201 S. State Street
Formed in 2002, I-GO has 15,000 members and more than 200 locations in 35 neighborhoods and four suburbs throughout the Chicago region. Members pay for cars by the hour (around $8.50), and gas is included in the hourly fee (as is insurance). A typical I-GO member spends about $2,520 per year on transportation, roughly $5,000 less than what the average American spends annually to own, operate, and maintain a car.
To join I-GO, visit igocars.org.