Illinois Senate votes to phase out most gas-powered government vehicles by 2030

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — The Illinois State Senate passed Senate Bill 1769 Friday.

The bill, which now goes to the Illinois House of Representatives, would require all vehicles purchased or leased by government entities, except law enforcement, to be zero-emission by 2030.

Most zero-emission vehicles are electric, containing battery-powered motors. Only one percent of vehicles in the United States are electric vehicles (EVs). However, that number is growing. Seven percent of new cars sold in the US are electric, up from two percent in 2020.

The bill was introduced by State Senator Rachel Ventura [D-Joliet], who said passing the bill would save money in the long run and protect the environment.

"We cannot afford to waste time on pressing issues like emissions,” said Ventura. “We want government to do their part and meet these goals, and this would begin to fulfill them.”

Republican lawmakers questioned if the state has the current infrastructure to support an all-electric fleet.

"It doesn’t concern you right now that a charge is about 60 to 120 miles. I believe there are one or two charging stations in Springfield alone, and that’s all," said Sen. Andrew Chesney [R – Freeport] according to The Center Square.

"Not only do we not have the ability to charge them, the batteries will not allow you in the more rural areas to drive that far, which, low and behold, is where the state facilities are located when it comes to correctional facilities," Sen. Terri Bryant [R-Murphysboro] said.

Ventura responded that state funding and federal grants will help to expand the number of charging stations.

The bill was assigned to the Illinois House’s Energy and Environment Committee. A final action deadline was set for May 19.

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May 12, 2023 at 05:12PM

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