NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) — Mclean County continues to be a leader in the transition to electric vehicles in central Illinois, but with the increase in green vehicles comes a shift in other industries.
With more EVs hitting the streets, finding a place to charge them becomes another issue, especially for renters or people that don’t reside in a single-family home with a private garage.
As of this month, there are 797 EV registrations within McLean County, according to the Secretary of State’s Office. Town of Normal planner said that the shift toward green energy is changing how planners think about projects.
“We are definitely discussing that with developers; we don’t have a code requirement at this time for EV charging, but it’s something we talk about when a project comes along,” Davison said.
In Illinois, 36,500 electric vehicles were registered in the state as of 2021 numbers from the U.S. Department of Energy. That number has since gone up, especially in McLean County as Rivian continues to hire and ramp up production.
“McLean County has more EVs every month and people need a place to charge,” Davison said.
According to PlugShare.com; an EV charging station website, there are currently 43 places to charge within McLean County, most of them unsurprisingly within the Town of Normal or City of Bloomington.
Chargers exist anywhere from private businesses to ISU and IWU and government-owned parking lots, including Uptown Normal and downtown Bloomington.
Davison said she soon expects to see more charging stations installed at area apartment complexes.
“It’s definitely starting to happen and I think give it a few years it will just be a given,” Davison said.
Andy Netzer, president of Young America Realty said it’s slowly becoming a new normal for management companies.
“It’s still just a trickle, I think we’re all bracing that it will sooner than we can imagine become a bigger issue,” Netzer said.
Netzer said he has yet to install any charging stations at any of his apartment properties, but anticipates having to do so in the future.
“I think we’ll have to, I think as you see some of the leading automakers say their fleet will be entirely electric in the next 10 years or so,” Netzer said.
He said that will create additional challenges apartment managers will have to sort out.
“What do you do with some of the outlier cases of somebody who’s parked longer than they need to charge or is that parking space assigned to them in a dedicated fashion,” Netzer said.
Last month, the Biden administration approved plans to roll out a network of high-speed chargers along interstate highways using $5 billion in federal funding over the next five years.