'Change is an opportunity': Next-gen fast electric vehicle charger made in Libertyville
Gov. J.B. Pritzker and other political leaders joined EVBox company officials Friday at a Libertyville factory to launch a next-generation fast charger touted as an important element in getting more electric vehicles on roads and advancing clean energy goals.
Pritzker, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin of Springfield, and U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider of Highland Park shared the stage with EVBox CEO Remco Samuels for the event at the company's North American headquarters and production facility at Innovation Park, the former Motorola campus.
EVBox, a global manufacturer of vehicle charging stations, is a pioneer and leader in the field with 500,000 charging ports shipped in Europe. The company opened the Libertyville facility about three years ago.
Several other state and local leaders attended the ceremonial launch of EVBox Troniq Modular, a fourth-generation DC charger that can put 280 miles on a battery in 20 minutes, according to the company.
Samuels didn't provide an exact number but said the first units from the Libertyville plant will be ready for delivery in November.
"We are not here to be a player of minor importance," he said after the event.
Samuels said the company's mission to "accelerate electric mobility" and is setting the stage for a transition to a charging network connecting cities and regions.
"Charging infrastructure is hugely important for the growth of the EV (electric vehicle) industry," Pritzker said.
According to Pritzker's office, Troniq Modular is a National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure ready EV charging station. It also is compliant with the U.S. Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act's Build America guidelines that require chargers be produced in the U.S. with at least 55% domestic content.
EV supporters say the vehicles reduce the carbon footprint and lead to cleaner air, improved health and a more sustainable future.
Pritzker in his remarks said the launch highlights the importance of clean energy businesses that will bring Illinois closer to the goal of putting 1 million EVs on the road by 2030.
"We have an industry for the future in our state and it's accelerating," Pritzker said.
Major EV, EV parts and renewable energy manufacturers have located or expanded in Illinois "thanks to our competitive incentives, unmatched infrastructure, world-class workforce and commitment to the clean energy economy," he added.
Illinois has awarded $12.6 million so far for 350 fast-charging ports across the state, Pritzker said.
According to Pritzker, REV Illinois (Reimagining Energy and Vehicles in Illinois) is designed to help manufacturing grow the clean energy ecosystem.
Durbin said the federal government is investing $5 billion in charging stations nationwide. He added, President Joe Biden has set a goal that half of all vehicles sold by 2030 will be electric.
"Change is a challenge, but change is an opportunity," he said.