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Governor Signs Legislation to Boost Electric Vehicle Usage in Illinois

CHICAGO–(ENEWSPF)–July 11, 2011. On Saturday, Governor Pat Quinn signed two bills into law that will encourage greater use of electric vehicles in Illinois. Together, these new laws will promote the use of energy efficient vehicles, help reduce emissions produced by gasoline-powered vehicles, and support the development of advanced electric vehicle technology.

“We must do everything we can to encourage sustainable and affordable transportation,” said Governor Quinn. “By expanding the use of electric cars, we are creating high-tech jobs, saving consumers money and protecting our environment.”

House Bill 2903, sponsored by Rep. Ann Williams (D-Chicago) and Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago), establishes a grant program that will help eligible car-sharing organizations purchase and use electric cars in their fleets. Car-sharing organizations are membership-based services that allow members to drive cars by the hour, which takes cars off of the roads and benefits our environment.

The new law authorizes the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) to make grants of up to 25 percent of a project’s total cost to eligible car-sharing organizations for the purchase of electric vehicles for their fleets. These vehicles must be registered in Illinois, and remain registered in Illinois for at least five years after the purchase. House Bill 2903 takes effect immediately.

The grants will be funded through the Alternate Fuels Fund, which currently provides rebates to Illinois vehicle owners who use renewable fuels, such as 85 percent ethanol blend fuel, or up to $4,000 for the cost of certain electric-powered vehicles. For more information regarding the fund, visit www.illinoisgreenfleets.org.

“Promoting the use of electric cars boosts our efforts to encourage the use of alternate fuels, which will help improve our environment for years to come,” said IEPA Interim Director Lisa Bonnett.

House Bill 2902, sponsored by Rep. Williams and Sen. Susan Garrett (D-Chicago), creates the Illinois Electric Vehicle Advisory Council, which will explore and recommend strategies to encourage the use of electric vehicles. The new law takes effect immediately.

“This package of bills is designed to promote and expedite the continued development of the electric car industry in Illinois. We are making important strides forward by increasing the number of environmentally-friendly transportation options for the average Illinoisan,” said Rep. Williams. “This is really just the beginning.”

Source: illinois.gov

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