Electric Truck Startup Steps In Where Other Automakers Left Off

A new startup is taking over a once-abandoned auto plant in central Illinois to make electric trucks and SUVs. But Americans have been slow to adopt electric vehicles.
Sales begin in 2020 for Rivian's R1T pickup truck and a companion SUV. Both will be made in central Illinois. Source: Ben Moon

Gas-powered pickups and SUVs now make up two-thirds of U.S. auto sales. But, until recently, truck buyers looking for an American-made electric-powered pickup would be out of luck. America's small electric vehicle fleet is just that — small, mostly cars and sedans. That's where a new startup automaker saw an opening.

Rivian plans to make battery-powered trucks and SUVs in a once-abandoned auto plant in central Illinois. It's the same plant where Wade Jensen's career began three decades ago, when Mitsubishi and Chrysler teamed up there to build cars.

In the mid-'90s, they

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