In a Boost to Electric Truck Maker Rivian, Illinois Governor Signs into Law the ‘Reimagining Electric Vehicles in Illinois Act'

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【Summary】On Tuesday, Illinois Governor JB Pritzer signed the “Reimagining Electric Vehicles in Illinois Act” into law, which aims to incentivize electric vehicle production across the state. The state is home to Rivian’s electric vehicle factory, which is currently building the Rivian R1T pickup as well as electric delivery vans for e-commerce giant Amazon.

Eric Walz    Dec 25, 2021 12:45 PM PT
In a Boost to Electric Truck Maker Rivian, Illinois Governor Signs into Law the ‘Reimagining Electric Vehicles in Illinois Act'
Rivian's electric vehicle factory is located in Normal, Illinois.

ROCKFORD IL - Illinois Governor JB Pritzer wants the state to be a leader in the burgeoning electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing industry, which is already underway as the state is home to electric truck maker Rivian's manufacturing plant.

On Tuesday, Gov Pritzer signed the "Reimagining Electric Vehicles in Illinois Act" into law, which aims to incentivize electric vehicle production across the state. Rivian's electric vehicle factory, in Normal, IL is currently building the Rivian R1T pickup as well as electric delivery vans for ecommerce giant Amazon.

The new state incentives will help to build new facilities, train Illinois graduates for high-tech roles in the industry and create thousands of new jobs. Pritzer's administration aims to have one million electric vehicles on the state's road by 2030.

The signing of the Reimagining Electric Vehicles in Illinois Act (REV) follows the state's historic "Climate and Equitable Jobs Act", which will help make Illinois a hub for EV battery production. 

The new legislation includes tax credits for income tax withholding, training costs, tax exemptions, and investment credits, as well as allowing local jurisdictions to abate property taxes for EV projects. It will prioritize underserved communities and communities impacted by energy transitions, the Governor's office said.

The credits range from 75% to 100% of income tax withheld for creating new jobs or 25% to 50% percent for retaining employees. However the actual amounts depend on various factors such as company location.

"By signing the Reimagining Electric Vehicles in Illinois Act into law, we're making clear to the world that Illinois is open for business and on track to be the best place in the nation to manufacture and drive an electric vehicle," said Governor Pritzker. "It's no secret that transportation is the leading source of climate pollution, so we're incentivizing green economic development. It's good for business and it's the right thing to do."


The outside of Rivian's electric vehicle factory in Normal, IL.

Additional enhancements include a 20% price preference for EVs built in Illinois for state procurements and the creation of an EV Permitting Task Force to ensure permits for EV projects don't face red tape from government bureaucracy.

The legislation builds upon the administration's commitment to improving the state's infrastructure, by permitting the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) to prioritize road projects that directly assist with locating an EV facility and the project's infrastructure needs.

"The REV Illinois Program marks a major milestone for Illinois and will support the growth of our advanced manufacturing economy, expand skills training for workers, and drive new investment to areas of need so that more residents can be a part of the work to electrify and modernize our state," said Sylvia Garcia, Acting Director for the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

The new law could benefit newly listed electric truck maker Rivian the most. The company recently launched its IPO and is now more valuable than U.S. automakers General Motors and Ford Motor Co with a market cap of $105 billion. Rivian purchased a former Mitsubishi Motors plant in Normal, IL in 2016 which serves as its U.S. manufacturing headquarters.

"Rivian congratulates Governor Pritzker and the Illinois General Assembly on the passage of the Reimagining Electric Vehicle Act," said James Chen, Vice President of Public Policy and Chief Regulatory Counsel at Rivian. "This legislation will promote Illinois as a state that welcomes and supports the entire electric vehicle manufacturing ecosystem, bringing increased investment and clean energy jobs to the state as we tackle the challenges of climate change and fostering cleaner air."

With the exception of Tesla, Rivian is the only few electric vehicle startup that owns a former auto factory. Rivian purchased the shuttered Mitsubishi Motors auto plant in Normal for $16 million. The site is fairly close to the home of the U.S. auto industry in Detroit.

Mitsubishi Motors closed the plant in Normal, Illinois in 2015 and put the factory up for sale after the company decided to cease manufacturing vehicles in the U.S.

In March, Rivian applied for a zoning amendment change for a 380 acre site, which is just west of Rivian's factory. The site is currently zoned as agricultural, according to city data. It's these types of projects that the REV is intended to help facilitate. 

"The electric transportation industry has the potential to grow into a booming field," said State Senator Doris Turner (D-Springfield). "With the REV Act, we're encouraging companies to set up shop in Illinois, and also providing incentives for electric transportation companies to bring good-paying jobs to the state."

Earlier this year, Gov Pritzker announced the creation of two new Manufacturing Training Academies in Illinois, including a first-of-its-kind Electric Vehicle-Energy Storage Manufacturing Training Academy which specializes in training the Illinois workforce for careers in the EV industry. 

The administration is inviting EV producers, EV specific parts manufacturers and charging station manufacturers to set up in Illinois and join innovative companies like Rivian in setting up their operations in the state.

The state of Illinois is also home to the 5 million-square-foot Stellantis Belvidere Assembly Plant, which builds the popular Jeep Cherokee SUV. It opened in 1965.

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