A quick-charging station has been installed at the Uptown Station Parking Deck in downtown Normal, Ill., for the benefit of electric-vehicle drivers, including Route 66 tourists, reported the Bloomington Pantagraph.
The Level 3 DC Quick Charge station enables drivers to charge their EV batteries to 80 percent in a mere 30 minutes.
“Being able to charge mid-day in 20 to 30 minutes really opens up the potential range of an electric vehicle in a day,” EVTown Task Force chairman Joe Mikulecky said in a press release issued Monday. “Travelers along Old Route 66 will find it particularly appealing as they plan their trip along the interstate corridor.”
Of the electric vehicles currently on the street, the Mitsubishi “i” and the Nissan Leaf are compatible with the Level 3 charging station that is free to use; however, there is a charge to park in the deck after the first hour and there is a 2-hour time limit on the Level 3 charging station parking space.
The Bloomington-Normal area has about three dozen Level 2 charging stations for EVs, but they require several hours for charging.
Less than three weeks ago, the small Route 66 town of Atlanta, Ill., announced the installation of a free-of-charge EV charging station in its downtown. City officials figured that EV-driving tourists, including those traveling Route 66, could shop in Atlanta’s shops and eat in its restaurants while their cars were recharging.
UPDATE 8/31/2012: I found out today the the Berwyn Route 66 Museum in Berwyn, Ill., sports two charging stations right on Route 66. Here’s a photo of the ribbon-cutting for the stations in October 2011:
They’re believed to be the only EV charging stations right on the Mother Road — at least for now.