Skip to main content

ComEd Joins Bronzeville Community to Unveil New Public EV Chargers

DOE Pilot brings first curbside charging to Illinois, part of ComEd’s effort to expand equitable access to EV charging across the region

In line with its mission to advance the equitable adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) throughout northern Illinois, ComEd today joined the Illinois College of Optometry (ICO) and members of the Bronzeville community to commission the latest EV charging station as part of a first of its kind U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) pilot launched on the city’s South Side to boost EV charging access for communities with limited access.

The pilot brings five new EV charging stations to Bronzeville, including the first ever curbside charging station located anywhere in the state of Illinois, and marks a key milestone in advancing efforts to boost EV charging access that will be required for supporting an equitable transition to EVs in Illinois. Because densely populated areas have limited access to EV charging, and fewer parking lots to accommodate public charging infrastructure, curbside charging will be critical for EV adoption in these areas.

“ComEd is committed to supporting a clean energy future in northern Illinois, and increasing charging access for our customers is a key component to greater EV adoption,” said Melissa Washington SVP of Customer Operations and Strategy at ComEd. “The air quality and sustainability benefits of EVs are vast, but we know that financial barriers and access to charging can be challenging. That is why programs like this charging pilot are so impactful in not only supporting air quality, but ensuring equitable access to this critical technology.”

The $3 million project, including DOE grant funding and ComEd matching funds, is part of a larger study being conducted by national partners, including the Center for Sustainable Energy, to understand how to bring charging to more low-income communities, where there is a higher concentration of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). Since the start of this pilot in 2022, the five Bronzeville chargers installed throughout the community have served nearly 300 unique drivers, and more than 2,800 charging sessions.

“Pilot projects like this show how we can make EV ownership accessible to more people by expanding crucial access to EV charging, especially for people living in multifamily housing in communities harmed by tailpipe emissions. We look forward to collaborating with ComEd on new efforts to electrify commercial fleets, trucks and buses, which often disproportionately impact these same communities,” said John Gartner, senior director of transportation programs at the nonprofit Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE).

CSE led a nationwide team of EV infrastructure experts in developing resources to accelerate EV charging at apartment buildings and condominiums as part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Vehicle Charging Innovations for Multi-Unit Dwellings (VCI-MUD) project. CSE administers EV and EV charging incentive programs in a dozen states.

Growing the network of public charging is a key component of the state's call for adding 1 million EVs to the road by 2030, outlined in the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA). Today, there are nearly 100,000 registered EVs in Illinois, with the number steadily climbing, and prompting EV charging infrastructure to expand to match the demand. New incentive programs offered by ComEd and the state of Illinois are helping remove barriers so that more customers and communities can make the switch.

The chargers are strategically placed throughout the Bronzeville community to support individuals living in multi-unit dwellings (MUDs), including apartment complexes and condominium buildings. The chargers located at ICO are also available for members of the community to use. As a ComEd Community of the Future, Bronzeville is a key example of the clean energy transformation happening in Illinois.

“The Illinois College of Optometry is proud to call Bronzeville home, and we are honored to be part of this EV charging pilot,” said Dr. Mark Colip, president of Illinois College of Optometry. “These new chargers are already having a positive impact on our students, faculty, staff, neighbors and patients of the Illinois Eye Institute. By making EV charging more accessible, we are helping do our part to support better air quality and fewer emissions in Chicago.”

The DOE pilot addresses unique challenges in charging access for occupants of multi-unit development (MUD) residences. National research reveals that while 80 percent of EV charging takes place at private residences, only 5% of home charging takes place at MUDs. More MUD charging is needed to level the playing field, as nearly one-third of residences in the United States are multi-unit dwellings with five units or more.

“Communities like Bronzeville are continuously impacted by harmful air pollution, but initiatives like the installation of publicly-accessible EV chargers and the launch of other support programs from ComEd including their new EV and charging infrastructure rebates, are making a difference for the people that live and work here,” said Billy Davis, General Manager of Jitney EV and a member of the Bronzeville Community of the Future Advisory Council. “Pilots like these are steps in the right direction to ensure that the clean energy transition is an equitable one.”

“The addition of Bronzeville’s first-ever EV charging stations is a significant step forward as we work to improve transportation access while lowering harmful emissions in our communities here and across Chicago,” said Pat Dowell, 3rd Ward Alderperson for Chicago’s Bronzeville community. “Through innovative pilot efforts and new rebate programs, ComEd is playing a key role in catalyzing investments in EV infrastructure that will bring more clean energy technology into our neighborhoods and help more residents breathe cleaner air for the future.”

Piloting expanded charging access in Bronzeville is just one example of how ComEd is supporting an equitable transition to EVs. Earlier this year, ComEd launched nearly $90 million in rebates, with a significant level of funding reserved to help expand the network of charging in the region, with a special focus on low-income communities and those historically most affected by pollution. More than half of the funding is reserved to help boost EV investment in equity-eligible communities, and with higher levels of rebates reserved for customers located in, driving, or doing business in low-income and equity-eligible communities.

“The dangerous effects of air pollution and the burdens of asthma continue to weigh more heavily on lower income communities, but the clean energy transition has the potential to alleviate those health risks,” said Brian Urbaszewski, Director of Environmental Health Programs at Respiratory Health Association. “The installation of publicly available EV chargers are one way ComEd is making owning a clean, zero-emission vehicle more affordable where the health benefits are most needed.”

Residential customers have the opportunity to apply for rebates of up to $3,750 to offset the costs of purchasing and installing residential Level 2 chargers purchased on or after February 1, 2024. For building managers of MUDs, business sector rebates ranging from $8,000-$80,000 are available to offset the cost of infrastructure serving Level 2 EV chargers and up to $500,000 for infrastructure serving DC Fast Chargers. Business and public sector customers who made electric fleet or charging infrastructure investments completed on or after June 1, 2023 can apply for retroactive rebates through May 15, 2024. Interested applicants can learn more at

ComEd is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NASDAQ: EXC), a Fortune 250 energy company with approximately 10 million electricity and natural gas customers – the largest number of customers in the U.S. ComEd powers the lives of more than 4 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state's population. For more information visit, and connect with the company on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, X, and YouTube.


ComEd Media Relations


Data & News supplied by
Stock quotes supplied by Barchart
Quotes delayed at least 20 minutes.
By accessing this page, you agree to the following
Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.