Car sharing firm building 16 solar EV canopies

i-go-solar-ev-stationI-GO CarSharing, a nonprofit car sharing organization based in Chicago, has officially announced the locations where it will build 16 solar EV charging stations. Once completed, the solar EV canopies will boost the total number of solar EV charging canopies in the U.S. by 10 percent or more.

In addition to officially announcing the locations of 16 future PV + EV charging stations I-GO has added three all-electric vehicles to its fleet—two Mitsubishi i-MiEVs and a Nissan LEAF, a move that the nonprofit says makes it the first Chicago-area car sharing organization to offer all-electric vehicles to its members.

“We’re excited to be adding these vehicles to I-GO’s fleet, and to have finalized agreements for all 16 solar canopy electric vehicle charging station sites. This project exemplifies I-GO’s commitment to innovation in carsharing and to providing our members with the most fuel efficient vehicles available,” said Sharon Feigon, CEO of I-GO.

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Each solar charging station will form a canopy that covers four parking spaces and will be able to power two electric vehicles. Two spaces will be reserved for I-GO at each location, and the others will be available to the public.

10 kW solar EV canopies
Each canopy will be topped with 44 solar panels, for a capacity of 10 kilowatts. In aggregate, the canopies will produce about 200,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity annually, enough for 600,000 driving miles. As a result, I-GO and its members could save as many as 17,000 gallons of gasoline each year.

Once completed, I-GO will have a fleet of 36 all-electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles, what I-GO says will be the largest electric vehicle fleet in the Midwest.

The solar canopies will be located at:

  • CTA Brown Line Kimball Park and Ride lot, Chicago
  • Ravenswood Professional Building at 1945 W. Wilson Avenue, Chicago
  • Greenleaf Art Center at 1806 W. Greenleaf Avenue, Chicago
  • JEWEL-OSCO at 3400 N. Western Avenue, Chicago
  • JEWEL-OSCO at 2940 N. Ashland Avenue, Chicago
  • JEWEL-OSCO at 5516 N. Clark Street, Chicago
  • JEWEL-OSCO at 5343 N. Broadway Street, Chicago
  • JEWEL-OSCO at 101 W. 87th Street, Chicago
  • JEWEL-OSCO at 438 W. Madison Avenue, Oak Park
  • City of Evanston Municipal Lot #3 at 1702 Chicago Avenue
  • City of Evanston Municipal Lot #4 at 2122 Central Street
  • City of Evanston Municipal Lot #32 at 825 Hinman Avenue
  • Village of Oak Park lot in the 1100 block of North Boulevard, between Marion and Forest
  • Village of Oak Park Village Hall at 123 Madison
  • Uncommon Ground Restaurant at 1401 West Devon, Chicago
  • Illinois Institute of Technology at 3201 S. State Street (currently a charging station location)

i-go-imieviMiEV and LEAF
The Mitsubishi i-MiEV and Nissan Leaf are class leaders, having the best mileage on a charge at up to 126/99 miles per charge city/highway (MPC) and 106/92 MPC, respectively, according to the EPA.These vehicles are available to I-GO members at the following locations:

  • Nissan Leaf at Jewel-OSCO at 2940 N. Ashland, Chicago
  • Mitsubishi i-MiEV at Illinois Institute of Technology at 3201 S. State Street, Chicago
  • Mitsubishi i-MiEV at I-GO’s headquarters at 2125 W. North Avenue, Chicago

I-GO is using a second Nissan Leaf as a fleet vehicle to efficiently service the entire I-GO fleet.

I-GO’s solar-powered electric vehicle project has been made possible by grants from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the Chicago Area Clean Cities Partnership, and the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation.

About I-GO CarSharing
Formed in 2002, I-GO has 15,000 members and more than 225 locations in 35 neighborhoods and four suburbs throughout the Chicago region. Members pay for cars by the hour (around $8.50), and gas is included in the hourly fee (as is insurance). A typical I-GO member spends about $2,520 per year on transportation, roughly $5,000 less than what the average American spends annually to own, operate and maintain a car.

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I-GO offers a joint smart card with the CTA that allows a seamless transfer between public transit and an I-GO vehicle. The Chicago Card Plus I-GO card is the only one of its kind in the nation. Seventy-three percent of I-GO members either sell a car or postpone a decision to buy one after joining I-GO.

In addition to saving its members money, I-GO reduces traffic congestion, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, improves air quality, and promotes healthy lifestyles and neighborhoods. For more information on I-GO, visit

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