CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois’ portion of the historic Route 66 is getting a high-tech upgrade with the installation of a network of electric vehicle charging stations.

The project will allow drivers of electric cars to zoom along the 300-mile stretch from Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River near St. Louis.

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The $1 million project is being supported by automakers with technical help from the University of California at Davis. Work begins this month and should be finished by summer.

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Charging stations will be built in eight cities, from Plainfield to Edwardsville. Each stop will have at least one fast-charging station, which can charge up a car within 15 to 20 minutes.

Gov. Pat Quinn said in a statement Saturday that the project reflects “Illinois’ place as the innovation capital of the Midwest.”

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