He added, “Central Illinois will become a hotspot for environmental efforts in EV technology and battery storage technology.”
But supporting the growing EV market and supplying charging stations will not be enough, Durbin said. Preparing America for more EVs on the road includes committing to sustainable energy that will support and prepare the country’s electrical grid.
Rivian, which purchased the shuttered Mitsubishi Motor Corp. plant in 2017, employs 1,250 people at its Normal production facility. The electric vehicle company recently purchased 380 acres of land west of the plant for $6.84 million for future growth and development.
Last week, it was announced that a new state electric vehicle worker training program would be established at Heartland Community College.
Durbin on Thursday also indicated a need for continued investment in batter technology research to diversify power resources. A majority of electric batteries are powered by lithium-ion.
“It isn’t just highways and roads and bridges and tunnels that everyone supports, it is also our electrical grid, transmission of electric power across the United States from all sorts of sources,” said Durbin. “We’re going to need more electricity, we’re going to need more clean sources of electricity, and we’re working on that today.