Chicago Auto Show presents electric vehicle showcase: Get behind the wheel of the future

Get ready to start your engines, quietly.

The Chicago Auto Show is hosting an event that allows Chicagoans to get behind the wheel of the newest electric vehicles. It’s happening this Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Oakbrook Terrace at the Chicago Automobile Trade Association Headquarters at 18W200 Butterfield Road.

Registration is required on Several brands including Kia, Hyundai, Cadillac, Jeep, Alfa Romeo, Audi, Ford, Nissan, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo will be there.

James Bell, with Kia corporate communications is showing off the new EV 9. It features a third row seat and slick control panel.

"An interior that's attractive, its futuristic, it uses all recyclable materials so its sustainable," said Bell.

The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4XE is also on display.

"You can notice it on the street with these blue toe hooks and any of the blue accents. This has a two liter turbocharged engine that's hybrid, so it gets about 21 miles all electric battery," said Kelley Enright, a PR manager for Jeep.

There’s no hiding the "shock" of the EV price tag. They are expensive. In addition, owners will want to install an in-home charger, which can range from $800 to $6,000 depending on your home’s current electric set up. But there is a bright spot!

"Maintenance for your EV tends to be a lot less than your traditional gas powered vehicle. You're not going to see things like replacing your brakes as often because it has regenerative breaking and that means less wear on the brakes," said Jenni Newman, editor and chief of

The website has put together a buying guide for those interested in electric. You can find it here:

Most electric cars have a range of 250 to 300 miles. If you do plug it in at home, it could raise your electric bill anywhere from $40 to $50 dollars a month.

Electric vehicles have all the safety features of gas-powered vehicles.

"The battery pack that’s down at the bottom, it’s kind of like a skateboard if you will, it’s actually part of the crash worthiness. It's in a very strong case so in the case of an accident, you’re actually in a better situation with an electric car because there's no engine in the front," said Bell.

Public charging infrastructure has been a common complaint. ComEd says they are spending $230 million over the next few years to support more charging stations.