Sen. Durbin speaks with Normal mayor regarding electric vehicle infrastructure

Local News

NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) — U.S. Senator Dick Durbin held a news conference Thursday May 6 with Mayor Chris Koos to discuss the need to invest in electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure as part of President Biden’s American Jobs Plan (AJP).

Durbin said the AJP proposes a $174 billion investment in EVs, including new tax incentives to buy American-made EVs and a grant program for state and local governments and the private sector to build 500,000 charging stations by 2030.

“These funds would support the growth of businesses like Rivian and accelerate the installation of charging stations all across America to become as common-place or more common place than gas stations,” Durbin said.

With Rivian’s EV manufacturing facility, cutting-edge battery research at Argonne National Laboratory, and a statewide push for charging stations, Illinois is well-positioned to take advantage of opportunities in the AJP.

Sen. Durbin said investing in the EV technologies like batteries and will help the twin cities’ and state’s overall economies.

“If we focus on this, we’re going be creating new and good paying jobs in this area, building the economy and helping everything with it,” Durbin said.

Rivian is expected to start producing trucks and SUVs next month at the Normal plant. Mayor Chris Koos said the Town’s and Rivian’s commitment to sustainable technology will help put Bloomington-Normal on the global map.

“Central Illinois will become a hotspot for environmental efforts in EV technology and battery storage technology,” Koos said.

Koos said the Town prides itself on being a good steward to the environment and sustaining it; the Town even uses electric cars for some of the town-owned vehicles.

“We recognize the benefits and need of charging infrastructure and we have used Federal energy block grant dollars to install 48 charging stations throughout our community, we were one of the leaders in the United States in getting charging stations into our community,” Koos said.

Rivian’s Normal facility is expected to employ around 2,500 people by the end of this year alone.

Sen. Durbin said by working together at the local, state and federal levels, the United States can lead the way in EV technologies and manufacturing.

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