International Update

The State of Illinois is leading the charge for electrification in the U.S.

01 March 2022 #International Update

March’s SMMT International Newsletter features guest writer Sharon Stead, Managing Director at the State of Illinois European Office. Hear more about Illinois at our webinar on 10 March.

Sharon Stead, State of Illinois European Office

As the 18th largest economy in the world and top state for new and expanding companies,
Illinois is a global powerhouse and a leading state in the burgeoning electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing industry.

Rivian located in Normal, Illinois and backed by companies like Amazon and Ford, rolled their first all-electric truck off its assembly line in September of 2021. Its R1T is said to define what a modern pickup truck can be and was honored with the Motor Trend’s prestigious 2022 Truck of the Year. Lion Electric, a Canadian based manufacturer of electric buses chose Joliet, Illinois for their first U.S. manufacturing facility, and EV Box, a French owned charging station manufacturer established their U.S. headquarters and production facility in Libertyville, Illinois, producing around 200 DC charging units per week.

It is no surprise that companies like Rivian, Lion and EV Box chose to locate in Illinois. Illinois is taking bold action to address climate challenges and to makes sure communities are prepared to capture the economic benefits of the rapidly growing electric vehicle industry.   In 2021, Illinois became the first state in the Midwest to set an aggressive timetable for reaching 100% renewable energy by 2050 with the passing of the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act. This historic new law will make investments in the green energy economy, while providing a just transition for those impacted by the shift to clean energy.

Following the historic Climate and Equitable Jobs Act, in November 2021, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker signed the Reimagining Electric Vehicles (REV) in Illinois Act into law, incentivizing EV production in Illinois. The new incentives benefit the entire state’s EV ecosystem, by helping to build facilities, train Illinois graduates, and create jobs so that more residents can be part of the work to electrify and modernize our state. This is a major step towards one of the administration’s bold benchmarks: putting one million electric vehicles on the road by 2030.

REV encourages a significant increase in EV and auto battery production in Illinois. More specifically, the 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. EVs include vehicles exclusively powered by electricity and include electric cars and motorcycles. The credits range from 50 percent to 100 percent of income tax withheld for creating new jobs or retaining employees, depending on various factors such as company location.

Electric vehicle related jobs in Illinois are expected to double in the next 4 years. One way the State is strengthening its position as a premier location for the EV industry is by collaborating with businesses and developing a talent pipeline to meet current and forecasted workforce trends through initiatives such as Manufacturing Training Academies.

Heartland Community College located in Normal, Illinois was awarded $7.5 million to train vehicle technicians starting next year.  Illinois State University is planning to invest $44 million to launch an engineering school to provide Rivian and its suppliers with needed labor force, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign houses one of the world’s top engineering schools.

Illinois’ central location, infrastructure, commitment to building a green economy and access to a well-trained and educated workforce is the reason why over 2,000 foreign companies call Illinois their home.  Illinois is a business-friendly state, prepared to meet the demands of the future.  As UK companies consider expanding in the U.S. market they will find Illinois stands ready to support them.

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) through its foreign office network and local business development teams offer regional collaboration and intergovernmental coordination; investment packages & incentives; project-specific data analyses; customized workforce analyses and training; site selection assistance and coordination of site visits.

To learn more about Illinois please contact the Illinois Department of Commerce, Office of Trade and Investment’s European Office. Click here for more information about how UK companies can expand in the State of Illinois.

Sharon Stead, Managing Director
State of Illinois European Office

Join our webinar on 10 March about opportunities in Illinois:
Register here

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