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Chicago Drives Electric event in Oakbrook Terrace showcases latest EVs, with cars from Chevy, Ford, Volkswagen and more

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OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill. (WLS) — The Chicago Automobile Trade Association is hosting an EV event in the western suburbs this weekend.

The event takes place Friday through Sunday at Oakbrook Terrace and features cars from Alfa Romeo, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Ford, Hyundai, Jeep, Kia, Volkswagen and Volvo. According to CATA, 20% of vehicles in circulation nationwide are electric or hybrid vehicles.

This is an opportunity to discover and test electric vehicles. It’s CATA that puts on the Chicago Auto Show, and they have EVs from multiple manufacturers that the public can drive, but most importantly, they teach what an EV owner needs.

“For the first time, we’re hosting Chicago Drives Electric, an all-new all-electric event and educational opportunity for consumers to get out there and learn everything they need to know about the latest electric vehicles to hit the market,” said CATA President Jennifer Morand. said.

There is definitely interest in electric vehicles. Mailers were sent to Chicago Auto Show attendees for the opportunity to participate in the first Chicago Drives Electric event and it filled up in one day!

Panels of experts are on hand to answer questions and a variety of electric vehicles are available to drive.

Because the inventory is so low, the event takes on greater significance. Not only do you drive the electric vehicles, but you also see if an electric vehicle suits your lifestyle.

“They are also able to learn everything you need to know, from autonomy anxiety to tax credits and incentives and everything you need to know about ownership of an electric vehicle,” Morand said.

It takes education, planning and time. It’s not as simple as plugging your car into an outlet.

“An assessment must be made on your current capacity and that means you must bring in a qualified electrician and give an assessment to see what you need to upgrade or spend on EV power equipment,” Elbert Walters III, executive director of Powering Chicago, said.

“We installed Level 2 chargers in the homes of six of our reviewers because we know how important it is to have home chargers as part of the EV experience,” said Jenni Newman, editor of Cars.com. “We saw a price range of $1,500 to $6,800.”

Powering Chicago has its mobile tour truck on hand to help explain how to adapt your home and garage to accommodate an electric vehicle.

“We have a toolkit that we put on our website where you can get more information to understand not only the steps to follow if you are interested in buying an electric vehicle, we have information on range of vehicles you can purchase, we have information on available incentives and rebates,” said Melissa Washington, senior vice president of customer operations at ComEd.

Automakers are on hand to answer questions about specific models, and CATA is already planning to add it to the EV exhibit at the Auto Show in February.

“This year, we’re going to triple the size of the track, bring more brands to it, and expand the area for electric vehicle education experience and assistance,” Morand said.

And with interest in EVs continuing to grow, expect a much larger EV exhibit and test track at the Chicago Auto Show in February.

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