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Electric Vehicle Chargers Available for Community Use at the Firehouse!

Please join us along with panelists Vanessa Perkins of Community Charging Initiative,

William Truesdell, EVMatch Sales and Marketing Manager, John Mulrow, Postdoctoral Fellow: Civil and Environmental Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology, and moderator Jonathan Pereira, Plant Chicago Executive Director for a roundtable discussion to more fully explore the nuances of the subject! This virtual event will be held August 19th, 12:00PM - 1:00PM and is free to attend and open to the public. Click here to register!

Charging reservations can be made through the EVMatch app or online.


The United States is ranked as the world’s second-largest producer of greenhouse gases, with the transportation industry accounting for 29% of nation-wide emissions. It is essential that we be mindful of how we move through the world and be responsive to innovations in the field. Over 30,000 electric vehicles (EV) are currently registered in the state of Illinois. That’s double the number reported in 2019. While the rise of electric vehicles is not consequence-free, we are excited to announce that two electric vehicle chargers are now available for public use on-site!

Efforts to bring EV charging to Plant Chicago were spearheaded by Vanessa Perkins of

Community Charging Initiative and EVmatch, a female-led technology company working to make charging easy, reliable, and accessible to all. We joined their nationwide peer-to-peer EV charging network in May of 2021. The installation was overseen by AMB Renewable Energy, a southside Black-owned business. They offer clean energy products and service consulting to underserved communities at affordable prices while also supporting those working to develop and implement the Clean Energy Jobs Act and Future Energy Jobs Act. Plant Chicago is proud to partner with organizations whose missions align with our own on this project!

As our team discussed the potential installation, we considered the financial barriers to owning an electric vehicle but we also noted how the lack of chargers in low-income neighborhoods like Back of the Yards further contributed to the inaccessibility of EV. We see value in hosting a station not just for personal use but for our community. There are also specific environmental benefits to community charging. Low-income communities tend to be disproportionately impacted by poor air quality. In neighborhoods like Back of the Yards, a lot of that poor air quality comes from particulate matter from cars and trucks. Replacing gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles with electric vehicles can have a positive impact on air quality. And when coupled with renewable energy production, EV can reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“We need to transition away from individual car ownership but this is not plausible for all community members, particularly those without access to public transportation or safe biking infrastructure. Electric vehicles are great for reducing air pollution in urban areas, especially when coupled with energy generated from renewable sources.” - Jonathan Pereira, Executive Director. Plans to install solar panels at the firehouse factored heavily into the decision to add on-site EV chargers.

While it’s a step in the right direction, a shift to electric comes with its own drawbacks. Perhaps most notable is the dependence on cobalt and lithium mining these batteries currently necessitate, an industry which in some parts of the world has both a high environmental and human cost. Rarely in the environmental movement do we come across simple solutions! Plant Chicago will offer this service to community members while continuing to prioritize bike parking over car parking, and we encourage you to walk or bike as you are able.

Our sources / for further reading:

EVMatch press release:

Press Release_EVMatch
Download PDF • 708KB

About AMB Renewable Energy:

How green are electric vehicles:

Reducing the amount of travel not just the prevalence of low-efficiency vehicles:

Mining related to lithium-ion batteries:

Breakdown of U.S. emissions:

Chicago air quality and health report:

Equitable charging:

The importance of when you charge:


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