Durbin Discusses Electric Vehicle Infrastructure And Production With Rivian CEO

WASHINGTON U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) met virtually with Rivian CEO Robert “RJ” Scaringe to discuss federal priorities in electric vehicle (EV) production and infrastructure. Durbin spoke about his efforts to secure federal funding for EVs in the bipartisan infrastructure deal and budget reconciliation bill. They also discussed the importance of investing in battery research and manufacturing. In 2016, Rivian bought an old Mitsubishi plant in Normal, Illinois. The plant has undergone a $1.2 billion renovation and now employs more than 2,600 workers. 

“Rivian took a chance on Normal, Illinois, and it has paid off, with thousands of employees and plans to expand their footprint. To help address climate change, we must transition to zero-emission vehicles—I know Rivian is poised to be a leader in this space. With the right investments and commitment from the federal government, we can make sure Illinois’ economy not only benefits from, but leads the transition to clean, zero-emission, electric vehicles,” Durbin said.   

In the last four months alone, Rivian has hired more than 1,000 new employees, already exceeding the jobs lost from the Mitsubishi closure. Rivian also is contracted to produce 100,000 electric delivery vans for Amazon, an investor in the company.