Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that the City’s Drive Electric Chicago program received a major boost today from the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning’s (CMAP) approval of a $15.5 million federal grant for new charging stations and almost 200 electric vehicles (EV’s), including six electric buses to serve passengers at the City’s two airports, improvements that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 10,000 tons.
“The City of Chicago is committed to leading by example toward a more sustainable future by increasing the size of our electric vehicle fleet and reducing the emission of greenhouse gases,” Mayor Emanuel said. “Chicago is rejecting the Trump Administration’s denial of settled science and redoubling our commitment to meeting the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.”
Today’s decision by CMAP provides $15.5 million in funding from the Federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Program that will allow for the investment in 182 EV’s that will be added to the City’s vehicle fleet, plus nine DC-Fast Charging stations, and 182 Level 2 charging stations. These investments put the City of Chicago on track to attain the goal of a passenger fleet that is 25 percent EV by 2023.
The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) will install, operate, and maintain 80 Level 2 and 20 Fast Chargers at O'Hare International Airport (O’Hare) and Chicago Midway International Airport (Midway). Charging access at both international airports will enable efficient recharging of Chicago’s growing number of electric taxicabs, limousines, shuttles, and rideshare vehicles serving the airports’ 100 million plus passengers each year.
Additionally, CDA will operate a fleet of 6 electric shuttle buses to service airport parking facilities, including the new Consolidated Rental Car facility, replacing an existing diesel-operated service. The buses will be supported by at least 2 fast charging stations. The e-shuttle fleet will be in operation 24-hours a day.
The sustainability effort will improve the fuel efficiency of the City’s fleet, improve air quality, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support broader adoption of electric vehicles. Officials estimate the program is estimated to reduce petroleum use by 32,906 barrels, greenhouse gas emissions by 10,421 tons, the equivalent of carbon sequestered from 12,300 acres of U.S. forest in one year.
The development of a robust charging network for City fleet vehicles enables the Department of Fleet and Facility Management to electrify portions of the light- and medium-duty fleet including all City flex fleet vehicles. Electrifying the Flex Fleet program will provide over 1300 City employees with first-hand EV driving experience.
Mayor Emanuel has been leading the national and global response to the Trump administration’s efforts to gut environmental laws and sustainability efforts. He announced last month that Chicago will host the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy’s North American Climate Summit and the 2017 C40 Cities Bloomberg Philanthropies Awards on December 4-5. The Summit will bring together municipal leaders from across the United States, Canada and Mexico to articulate commitments to the Paris Agreement while the Awards will recognize the world’s most innovative and impactful efforts by mayors to tackle climate change
Since the announcement that the U.S. was pulling out of the Paris Agreements, cities across the country and the world have committed to creating a sustainable future for their residents.
Mayor Emanuel joined over 300 Mayors from around the country to commit to the Paris Agreement as part of the Mayors National Climate Agenda, or Climate Mayors. This network of U.S. mayors — representing over 56 million Americans in red states and blue states — work together to strengthen local efforts for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and supporting efforts for binding federal and global-level policy making. Mayor Emanuel also joined over 1,000 state, local, and business leaders from across the country as part of the “We’re Still In” campaign, coming together to signal the importance of the Paris Accord both nationally and across the world.
In addition, Mayor Emanuel has worked with cities around the country to post research from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Climate Change Website after the Trump administration unceremoniously removed it from the federal government’s websites on April 29. The research can be found on the City of Chicago’s “Climate Change is Real” website, www.chicago.gov/climatechangeisreal.