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New Electric Car Charging Stations To Open At IIT

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A bank of new electric charging stations will open in Chicago Monday, and advocates of electric cars hope they will soon be as common as the corner gas station.

As CBS 2's Kris Habermehl reports, a ribbon cutting is set for noon Monday for the Smart EV Charging Station at the Illinois Institute of Technology visitor parking lot A4, at 32nd and State streets.

One of the stations built as part of a project with IIT's Robert W. Galvin Center for Electricity Innovation is a "DC Quick Charge" station that will provide a full charge of electrical voltage in a period of 15 to 20 minutes. The site also includes six Level 2 charging stations, which charge an electric vehicle in 5 to 6 hours.

The stations are connected to the existing "perfect power" microgrid on campus, which is linked to on-campus battery installations and buildings to minimize the impact of vehicle charging on the campus power supply.

The opening of the new charging stations will include a visit by Antonin Guy and Xavier Degon of France, who are making an around-the-world trip across 17 countries in an electric car. They will stop to charge their car at IIT.

Electric charging stations are also planned for several other locations in the city. Last December, the Chicago Transit Authority Board on Wednesday approved a plan to install electric vehicle chargers at the Park and Ride lot at Kimball and Lawrence avenues in the Albany Park neighborhood. They will be the first ever such facilities at a CTA station.

Four of the Level 2 charging stations will be used by the car sharing services I-Go and Zipcars, which are both expanding their fleet to include electric cars. The I-Go charger will include a solar canopy that will generate some of the electricity, according to the CTA.

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