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ComEd Launches Electric Car Service Pilot for Bronzeville Seniors

Pilot program part of ComEd's Community of the Future initiative to help meet community technology needs

CHICAGO (December 14, 2017) – ComEd is testing an electric car service in Bronzeville that will offer seniors a low-cost and emission-free way of getting around the neighborhood.

ComEd has partnered with the Bronzeville Community Development Partnership (BCDP) and Innova EV to launch this new service at the TRC Senior Village on East 53rd Street. The pilot is part of ComEd's Community of the Future initiative in Bronzeville, where it's collaborating with residents of the Chicago South Side neighborhood to explore how to leverage smart grid technology and related services to enhance everyday life.  

"We see the Bronzeville Community of the Future as a living laboratory for the development and testing of energy technology that has the potential to enhance everyday life," said Michelle Blaise, senior vice president, Technical Services, ComEd.

"Through our collaboration with residents and area leaders, we've learned that helping meet the transportation needs of seniors is an area where we can make a difference," said Melissa Washington, vice president of External Relations, ComEd.  "We're excited to partner with the Bronzeville community and Innova EV, a local pioneer in the electric vehicle services, to bring this new clean energy transportation service to a local Chicago community."

The pilot offers transportation to residents of the TRC Senior Village who can reserve rides to various destinations, including pharmacies, grocery stores, banks, medical facilities, and public transit, among others. Residents will be charged $3 per ride and can reserve rides up to one week in advance by calling dispatch and through a web-based reservation system   

"In Bronzeville, we want to seize every possible opportunity to be a smart and sustainable community and drive economic growth," said Paula Robinson, president of the BCDP. "The DASH electric vehicle pilot is very well aligned with our interests in building a sustainable future." 

With the help of the BCDP, Innova will initially recruit, hire and train 10 drivers from the neighborhood. As the program grows, more Bronzeville residents will be hired to support ride requests.

"We're pleased to work with ComEd and the Bronzeville community to see how our zero-emission Dash EV will meet their mobility needs," said Roman Kuropas, president and CEO of Innova, who founded the company in 2012. "We hope to expand our fleet in the future, create more jobs and educate the community about the benefits of electric vehicles."

The Innova EV Dash is a 100 percent electric vehicle; it has a range of 150 miles per charge of its lithium-ion battery and a maximum speed of 35 miles per hour. Dash vehicles are equipped with more than 40 built-in sensors that collect data about the cars' performance and ridership statistics. There are Dash cars in various stages of testing on college campuses and urban settings including the Metra station in Itasca, Ill. Pilot participants also include eluminocity U.S., Inc., a leader in urban EV infrastructure, which has installed a charging station on the property of Akhela's Bed & Breakfast in Bronzeville to support the pilot.

ComEd's Community of the Future initiatives in Bronzeville include off-grid wind and solar LED streetlights that will be installed at Bronzeville schools; a community energy storage pilot that will study the application of battery energy storage to improve EV charging; and the installation of a street-level interactive kiosk providing high-speed public Wi-Fi, news and information, public transportation updates and device charging.

ComEd has filed with the Illinois Commerce Commission for approval to build a microgrid, a small power grid that can connect to the main grid or disconnect from it to keep locally generated power flowing in times of emergency. It would connect with a microgrid serving the campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology, creating the first utility-scale microgrid cluster in the nation.  

The Community of the Future also includes the promotion of science, technology, engineering and math education among area youth. ComEd recently held an Energy Fair at Dunbar High School and is currently conducting an Ideathon that introduces Bronzeville high school students to the concept of smart cities and smart grid technology.   

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Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation's leading competitive energy provider, with approximately 10 million customers. ComEd provides service to approximately 3.9 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state's population. For more information visit ComEd.com, and connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Based in Burr Ridge, Ill., Innova EV is dedicated to making mobility affordable for all through its 100% electric, 4G LTE connected urban electric vehicle platforms. Innova EV offers an on-demand, car sharing and autonomous vehicle solution for universities and clean cities. For more information, visit www.innovaevcarshare.com.

 

 

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