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By Richard J. Durbin

When I think about the future of Illinois’ economy, I think about electric vehicles. Our state can lead the pack if we make the right investments now.

We’ve already seen success stories here in Illinois with Rivian’s revitalization of the previously abandoned Mitsubishi plant and Lion Electric’s recent announcement to build a new electric bus plant in Joliet. Thousands of Illinoisans are already working to build the cars of the future and the batteries that will power them. But if we truly want Illinois to become the Silicon Valley of electric vehicle manufacturing, it’s time for the federal government to get serious about committing to green transportation.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the state Legislature have been hard at work putting together a wide-ranging incentive package, including tax credits and job training, to attract more EV producers, battery manufacturers and charging companies to Illinois. I hope to build upon their efforts as the Senate continues to negotiate President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better agenda.

Part of the reconciliation bill should be an expansion of the federal EV tax credit to help make the switch to a next-generation vehicle easy and affordable. I also support significant investments in charging infrastructure to create jobs and ease the “range anxiety” many people feel when considering an electric vehicle. The bipartisan infrastructure bill before Congress would deliver the investment we need: $7.5 billion to build charging stations across the country. It also reduces more than just range anxiety—it invests over $10 billion in clean transit and school buses to help the environment and reduce our children’s exposure to harmful diesel fumes.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the state Legislature have been hard at work putting together a wide-ranging incentive package, including tax credits and job training, to attract more EV producers, battery manufacturers and charging companies to Illinois. I hope to build upon their efforts as the Senate continues to negotiate President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better agenda.

Part of the reconciliation bill should be an expansion of the federal EV tax credit to help make the switch to a next-generation vehicle easy and affordable. I also support significant investments in charging infrastructure to create jobs and ease the “range anxiety” many people feel when considering an electric vehicle. The bipartisan infrastructure bill before Congress would deliver the investment we need: $7.5 billion to build charging stations across the country. It also reduces more than just range anxiety—it invests over $10 billion in clean transit and school buses to help the environment and reduce our children’s exposure to harmful diesel fumes.

Read this LTE on the Crain’s Chicago Business site: https://www.chicagobusiness.com/opinion/electric-vehicle-race-one-illinois-can-win-fed-help-durbin