Electric Vehicle Rally Rolls into Evanston from Chicago Auto Show

Posted on Friday Feb 15, 2013

Many future drivers and their parents showed up on Evanston’s lakefront at the start of Presidents’ Day weekend as 12 electric vehicles from the Chicago Auto Show rolled into town retracing the route of America’s first motor vehicle race in 1895, the Chicago Times-Herald motor race. Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl, Evanston Alderman Judy Fiske (1st Ward), Illinois Sierra Club Executive Director Jack Darrin and nearly 200 Evanston residents joined rally organizer David Funcheon of 101 Celsius in welcoming the rally participants to a pit stop at Dawes Park on February 15, 2013.

“This historical recreation of the original 1895 race using electric vehicles is being well received in Evanston, a community that has been consistently committed to lowering its carbon footprint and one that has been actively working with its residents and community partners to lower its greenhouse gas emissions over the years,” explained Mayor Tisdahl. “We whole-heartedly support electric cars as one of many tools we can use to lower emissions so much that Evanston has been working to bring three electric car charging stations to the city - hopefully some time before this summer.”

"The 1st Ward was proud today to host a cadre of electric vehicles in a re-creation of the 1895 automobile race between downtown Chicago and Evanston," said Alderman Fiske. "The vehicles participating today offered styling, comfort and amenities beyond imagination. It was entirely appropriate to showcase the new electric vehicles on our beautiful lakefront and once again emphasize how everyday choices we make can have a positive impact on our community and our planet."

The electric vehicle rally was organized to help support and promote the efforts of manufacturers bringing advanced high mileage/low emission vehicles to the marketplace, their distributors and the companies that provide the new infrastructure.

As electric vehicles become an increasingly popular alternative to gasoline-powered cars, the Electrified Vehicle Rally recreated the historic Chicago Times-Herald motor race – America’s first – this time with all electric vehicles. While electric vehicle rallies are fairly common on the West coast and warmer regions, the Chicago Electric Vehicle Rally aims to prove that these alternative-fuel vehicles fare well even in colder climates.

Vehicles included two-seater sports cars, sedans and even a delivery van used by Testa Produce, Inc.  The line-up of participating vehicles was: Chevrolet Volt, Fisker Karma, Ford C-max Energi, Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, Nissan Leaf (driven by an Evanston resident), Tesla Model S, Tesla Roadster, Toyota Prius, Toyota Prius C, Toyota Prius PHEV, Volkswagen Passat TDI, VIA Motors EREV Silverado and Smith Electric Delivery Vehicle.