Rivian’s electric pickup declared ‘the coolest thing made in Illinois’

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (NEXSTAR) – After a month of online voting, Rivian’s R1T truck has been declared the winner of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association’s third annual Makers Madness contest.

The R1T truck is the first all-electric pickup in production, featuring motors in each of its wheels. The Rivian factory that manufactures the R1T is located in Normal.

“The R1T is leading a revolution in the automotive industry, and we’re proud that Illinois is home to such exciting technological advancements,” said Mark Denzler, president and CEO of Illinois Manufacturers’ Association.

Governor JB Pritzker hosted the awards ceremony at Governor’s Mansion to congratulate all finalists. Manufacturing is one of the largest industries in the state.

“Illinois’ leadership in innovation is a story of our present as much as our past,” Pritzker said. “With my administration’s strategic investments in apprenticeships, training academies and tax credits, we can open doors for more Illinois to access 21st century manufacturing careers.”

Rivian said they were honored to accept this accolade.

“The mission of sustainability through investing in zero emissions, transportation technology and economic growth is evident in all of our operations in Illinois,” said James Chen, Rivian’s vice president of public policy. “We are proud to call Illinois home.”

Over 400 products were nominated before a slice of the 16 most popular was selected. According to IMA, more than 200,000 votes were cast between March 22 and April 24.

Rounding out the Top 4 are the diffraction gratings used in VR glasses made in Champaign, spacecraft parts for the Orion capsule made in Rockford, and the Fruit by the Foot snack made in Belvidere.

Luz W. German