By Jim Dallke
Anchored by Rivian’s electric truck manufacturing plant in downstate Normal, the state of Illinois is poised to see the number of electric transportation jobs nearly double by 2024.
There were an estimated 5,200 electric transportation-related workers in Illinois in 2019, a number that’s expected to climb to 9,500 workers by 2024—an 83% increase.
That’s according to a new report from Advanced Energy Economy, a trade association for the advanced energy industry. The report found that today there are 560 electric-transportation businesses in Illinois, with an ET company residing in 97 of Illinois’ 102 counties. Leading the charge is Rivian, a startup backed by Amazon that’s building electric trucks and SUVs at a former Mitsubishi plant in Normal. Rivian employs more than 1,000 Illinois workers, according to the report. By 2022, the company expects to have 2,700 manufacturing workers at its Normal plant.
Other ET companies in Illinois include AllCell Technologies, maker of lithium-ion battery packs for things like scooters, drones and robots, and battery company Navitas Solutions.
Electric transportation activity is estimated to have generated $850 million in gross state product for Illinois in 2019, according to the report. And when it comes to electric vehicles, EVs accounted for one of every 50 cars sold in Illinois in 2019, the report found.
The report, created alongside research consultant BW Research Partnership, also identified policy recommendations the state can adopt to further grow the industry, like setting an electric vehicle adoption goal of 1.2 million vehicles by 2030, establish a tax credit for EV supply-chain companies that relocate to Illinois, and build out a network of more public charging stations across the state.
“With the right policies in place, Illinois leaders can accelerate the ET market and the state’s leadership in the next phase of mobility,” Daniel Bloom, principal at Advanced Energy Economy, said in a statement.