WASHINGTON, D.C. This week, U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) met with Ford North America CEO Kumar Galhortra and Lion Electric CEO Marc Bedard 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 a potential reconciliation bill. He also urged the companies to consider Illinois as a location for future battery plants and EV production.

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“President Biden has laid out an ambitious but achievable goal for America’s transition to electric vehicles. I spoke with Ford and Lion Electric because I believe Illinois is poised to lead the electric vehicle revolution. With the right investments and commitment from the federal government, we can ensure Illinois workers and consumers benefit from the transition to clean, zero-emission, electric cars,” Durbin said.

In May, Lion Electric announced a new EV plant in Joliet, Illinois. Lion Electric has committed to investing at least $70 million in this facility over the next three years. The 900,000 square foot plant will employ more than 745 Illinoisans and produce up to 20,000 all-electric buses, including school buses, and trucks annually—the most of any U.S. facility.

Ford recently announced a partnership with a Korean firm, SK innovations, to build two U.S. battery plants to support future EV production. The company employs more than 6,000 workers in Chicago and Chicago Heights and has existed in Illinois for nearly 100 years.

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