State takes steps to electrify cars on Illinois roads
- Aug 12, 2022 8:09 pm GMT
The effort to electrify the state's transportation sector and ensure the power grid can meet increased demand involves the
Between those agencies and utilities, there's hundreds of millions of federal, state and ratepayer dollars available for EV charging infrastructure, vehicle rebates and other plans aimed at accelerating EV adoption.
While the regulatory force behind CEJA lies with several agencies, the task of ensuring all of them are working together lies in the hands of the state's electric vehicles coordinator.
That person is Megha Lakhchaura, who was appointed to the position officially on
She has previously served as the director of policy in
It's a diverse private sector and regulatory experience which she said has helped her hit the ground running.
"So the job is basically figuring out how all of these pots of money work together," Lakhchaura said in a recent interview with Capitol News Illinois. "What are the pieces that we have to look at? Where do we put our resources?
How do we think of things comprehensively and having a comprehensive charging strategy for the state?"
She praised the top-down vision laid out by the governor's office and CEJA but said lawmakers and regulators will have to continue to adapt to meet the 1 million EV goal.
"CEJA is a good starting step," she said. "I think that it sets up some very good practices. It puts out a road for utilities, it puts out a rebate for vehicles, for charging. It's a good first step, but we're going to have to do more to get to 1 million vehicles."
'A lot of demand'
It's a time of rapid growth for EV adoption, Lakhchaura said, with nearly 9,000 EVs added to state roads in the first seven months of this year, bringing the total number licensed in
Still, there are challenges.
"There is a lot of demand, there's no doubt about it," she said. "I think the problem right now is price, and buying an EV at this point in time, it's very difficult.
They're sold out, there's not enough that are being produced to meet these kinds of demands."
To defray cost, the state on
The current application window runs through
While many EVs remain expensive, Lakhchaura mentioned a cheaper model, the Chevy Bolt, which retails for just under
If a purchaser receives a state rebate on top of a
But there are still other challenges, such as a global shortage of lithium and other materials needed for EV batteries, she added.
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