May 31, 2022

Duckworth travels to promote Illinois' EV strength

Source: Crain's Chicago Business


Illinois has a new volunteer enlistee in its drive to boost the state’s emerging electric vehicle business: U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill.

Duckworth is in South Korea and Taiwan this week, meeting with a range of government and industry officials in an effort to lure a prized battery plant and perhaps more to Illinois after several losses of such facilities to other states.

“I’m going to try,” Duckworth said in an interview before departing.

“I do see some prospects of changing that,” she said, referring to a trend in which, most recently, South Korean manufacturer Samsung chose Kokomo, Ind., over Illinois for a battery plant that will serve EV makers.

Illinois' junior senator will be accompanied by some ranking state officials, including Dan Seals, head of Intersect Illinois, the state’s public-private corporate recruitment agency.

Duckworth, who serves on the Senate Commerce Committee, said she’ll meet with South Korea’s president and some companies, including IT firm SK, which has announced plans to invest $30 billion in the U.S. through 2025.

In Taiwan, meetings include the country’s president and top defense and economics officials.

“This is all relationship-building,” Duckworth said, but that’s crucial for a state that, in her view, has all the talent and other assets needed to prosper as the EV industry grows. “I don’t know anybody who is doing what we’re doing.”

Duckworth is scheduled to return later this week.

By:  Greg Hinz