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Report: Illinois Well-Positioned to Lead Growth of Electric Transportation Sector

Posted by Monique Hanis on Apr 12, 2021

New report shows electric transportation-related jobs expected to increase by 83% by 2024; 560 companies across the state already employ 5,200 workers; related industries have opportunity to quickly retool and retrain to meet market demand for business and job growth.

SPRINGFIELD, IL, April 12, 2021 — Today national business group Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) released a report that shows Illinois employs an estimated 5,200 electric transportation-related workers at 560 businesses in 97 of its 102 counties. This figure is expected to increase by 83% by 2024 to an estimated 9,500 workers to meet growing market demand.

“This report shows Illinois is well-positioned to lead in the growing U.S. electric transportation supply-chain with its existing strong research and development, diverse precision manufacturing facilities, and skilled manufacturing workforce,” said Daniel Bloom, principal at Advanced Energy Economy. “As Governor Pritzker seeks to expand clean energy as outlined in his Energy Principles, electric transportation presents not only an opportunity for the 560 businesses already involved in the sector, but also for thousands of workers in related industries that can quickly retool and retrain to meet regional and global EV demand.”

The report, Electrifying Illinois: Economic Potential of Growing Electric Transportation, was prepared for AEE by leading workforce and economic development research consultant BW Research Partnership. Key findings include:

  • Illinois employed an estimated 5,200 ET-related workers at 560 businesses in 2019. This number is projected to increase by 83% by 2024, when an estimated 9,500 workers will be involved in ET activity around the state. 

  • ET-related employment can be found across Illinois where 97 of the 102 counties have at least one worker involved in ET-related activity, and nearly 1,000 ET jobs can be found outside the 10 Illinois counties with the greatest number of ET jobs. 

  • ET activity contributed $850 million to Gross State Product (GSP). This is about twice that of Industrial Building Construction.
      
  • With the right policy priorities, Illinois is well-positioned to be a leader in developing the domestic ET supply chain. The state has significant strength across a range of industries including research and development (bolstered by the strong universities in the state), diverse precision manufacturing facilities and workers that attract national ET manufacturers, such as Rivian, to locate in the state. 

  • ET growth offers opportunities for manufacturing and related industries in Illinois. Two-thirds of ET-related jobs (3,400) are in manufacturing, which will continue to play a significant role in ET growth in the state. Another 70,000 workers in Adjacent and Support Industries and the companies they work for could transition to ET-related work with relatively little training, offering a lifeline particularly to those in Support Industries, which shed 15,900 jobs across the state between 2014 and 2019. 

  • Illinois has seen a growth in electric vehicle (EV) sales. EVs accounted for one of every 50 cars sold in Illinois in 2019. As the demand for EVs grows within the state, demand will rise for charging infrastructure and other ET goods and services, further driving ET job growth opportunities in the state. 

  • While Illinois has only three ET-specific training programs, the state has a robust set of manufacturing education and training options. While these education and training opportunities are not ET-specific, they do prepare students to enter many of the ET-related jobs in the state. 

The report includes a sampling of companies involved in ET-related business in Illinois and two company snapshots, one on all-electric truck manufacturer Rivian, (McLean County) and another about battery-pack manufacturer AllCell Technologies (Cook County).

“With the right policies in place, Illinois leaders can accelerate the ET market and the state’s leadership in the next phase of mobility,” said Bloom. “Putting in place state requirements for EV adoption, offering tax credits for ET-related companies to relocate to Illinois, and funding a network of public charging stations could create a virtuous cycle of job creation in the state.”

The report offers specific policy recommendations to accelerate EV market growth and the burgeoning supply-chain businesses in Illinois are to: 

  • Set an Electric Vehicle (EV) adoption goal in the state of 1.2 million vehicles by 2030. 
  • Establish a tax credit for EV supply-chain companies that relocate to Illinois or are located downstate or in disproportionately impacted areas.
  • Leverage the nearly $160 million in residual VW Mitigation Settlement and 2020 Capital Plan funds to build out a robust network of public charging stations across Illinois.
  • Initiate a regulatory process that requires utilities to submit Transportation Electrification Plans (TEPs) to the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) every three years, with an emphasis on building out “make-ready” charging infrastructure. 
  • Expand the availability of the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program (EVITP) curricula across Illinois, with an emphasis on broad geographic reach.

Background Materials

  • Mar. 25, 2021 Market Report: "In 2020, Advanced Energy Revenue Reached $1.4 Trillion Worldwide; U.S. Market Totals $240 Billion," detailing 16% annual growth in advanced transportation sector, is here
  • Oct. 8, 2020 Economic Impact Report: “Stimulus Investments in Advanced Energy Sector Would Deliver More than $350 Billion to Illinois Economy,” (an eight-fold return) summary with report link is here.
  • Sept. 17, 2020 Employment Fact Sheet: “Illinois had 137,300 people working in advanced energy in 2019, more workers than in Supermarkets & Grocery Stores, twice those in Real Estate,” summary with link to employment fact sheet is here.
About Advanced Energy Economy
Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) is a national association of businesses that are making the energy we use secure, clean, and affordable. AEE is the only industry association in the U.S. that represents the full range of advanced energy technologies and services, both grid-scale and distributed. Advanced energy includes energy efficiency, demand response, energy storage, wind, solar, hydro, nuclear, electric vehicles, and more. AEE’s mission is to transform public policy to enable rapid growth of advanced energy businesses. Engaged at the federal level and more than a dozen states around the country, AEE represents more than 100 companies in the $238 billion U.S. advanced energy industry, which employs 3.6 million U.S. workers. AEE's PowerSuite online platform allows users to track regulatory and legislative issues in state legislatures, U.S. Congress, state PUCs, RTOs/ISOs, and FERC. Sign up for a free trial at powersuite.aee.net. Follow us at @AEEnet.
 

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