Can a Green-Economy Boom Town Be Built to Last?


As it prepares to deliver its first electric pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles this year, Rivian has spent around $1.5 billion renovating and expanding a factory once owned by Mitsubishi. On a typical day the 3.3-million-square-foot plant hosts several hundred construction workers alongside more than 2,500 workers employed by the company, which expects to eventually double its local head count. To learn more, read, Can a Green-Economy Boom Town Be Built to Last?”

Key Takeaways:

  • Electric vehicles require fewer workers to make than gasoline-powered ones.
  • Rivian’s prospects appear strong — it filed for a public stock offering in August, seeking a valuation of roughly $70 billion — the company could be overwhelmed by a growing list of competitors.
  • A nearby community college started a program this fall to train electric vehicle technicians, and Illinois State University, which abuts Uptown, is building an engineering school partly in response to Rivian.

Path to 100% Perspective: 

The economics are on our side. Power generation is undergoing fast trans- formation towards cleaner energy sources due to low-cost renewables. In addition, rapidly maturing energy storage technologies, together with sector coupling, are for the first time paving a route towards zero-emission electricity generation. In order for organizations and communities to build on the energy transition, there needs to be realistic and strategic planning, investments in innovation and commitment to accelerate decarbonization using a mix of renewable energy, fuels produced by renewable energy and energy storage.

Photo by Denys Nevozhai on Unsplash