October 3, 2022
The car Guy Biden touted electric vehicles at the Detroit Auto Show

DETROIT (AP) — President Joe Biden, a gearhead with his own vintage Corvette, demonstrated his administration’s efforts to promote electric vehicles during the visit on Wednesday Detroit Auto Show,

Biden traveled extensively to the North American International Auto Show to plug Huge new climate, tax and health care laws Which provides tax incentives for buying electric vehicles. He toured a mix of American-made hybrid, electric and combustion vehicles from Chevrolet, General Motors, Ford and Stelantis on the closed convention center floor and greeted union workers, CEOs and local leaders.

The Democratic president, who recently took a spin with Jay Leno in his pine-green 1967 Stingray for a segment on CNBC’s “Jay Leno Garage,” jumped into the driver seat of a bright orange Chevrolet Corvette Z06—which costs $106,000 And is not an EV—and with GM CEO Mary Barra, its engine fired.

“He says he’s driving home,” she joked.

Biden then toured the new electric Ford Mustang Mach-E, marveling at the model’s performance with Ford’s executive chairman, Bill Ford. “It’s amazing speed,” Biden said, “does it have a launch button?” He also explored less attractive vehicles, such as Ford’s all-electric e-transit van and the F-150 truck.

Biden finally got behind the wheel of the Cadillac Lyric all-electric SUV, which starts at $63,000, briefly driving it down an aisle in a blue-carpet hall. It marks a rare occasion to drive – albeit at little more than walking speed – for the president, who is usually taken out in public in armored US Secret Service vehicles.

“Jump, I’ll give you a ride to Washington,” he joked to reporters. “It’s a beautiful car,” he said, “but I love the Corvette.”

While Biden is taking credit for Recent surge in electric vehicle battery and assembly plant announcementsMost were working long before the Inflation Reduction Act was signed into law on August 16. Biden’s 2021 infrastructure law may have something to do with It Provides $5 Billion To help states build a network of EV charging stations in five years.

In Detroit, Biden was to announce the approval of the first $900 million in infrastructure money to build EV chargers across 53,000 miles of the national highway system in 35 states.

Under the law, electric vehicles must be made in North America to be eligible $7,500. for the new federal tax credit of up to, Batteries for qualifying vehicles must also be made in North America, and there are requirements for battery minerals to be produced or recycled on the continent. The credit is intended to build up the US electric vehicle supply chain and end dependence on other countries, primarily China.

A scramble has begun by automakers to accelerate efforts to find North American-made batteries and battery minerals from the US, Canada or Mexico to ensure that EVs are eligible for the credit.

In April, Ford began making electric pickup trucks at a new factory in Michigan. General Motors has revamped an old factory in Detroit to make electric Hummers and pickups.

Long before legislators settled on the law, each company announced three EV battery factories, all joint ventures with battery manufacturers. A GM battery plant in Warren, Ohio has already begun construction. A government loan announced in July would help GM build its battery factories.

Ford said last September that it would build next-generation electric pickups at a plant in Tennessee, and GM has announced EV assembly plants in Lansing, Michigan; Spring Hill, Tennessee; and Orion Township, Michigan. In May, Stelantis, formerly Fiat Chrysler, said it would build another joint venture battery factory in Indiana, and has announced a battery plant in Canada.

Hyundai announced plans to build a battery and assembly plant in Georgia in May, and Vietnamese automaker Winfast announced factories in North Carolina in July. Honda and Toyota both announced US battery plants after the act was passed, but they were planned for months.

Biden has long been talking about the importance of building a domestic EV supply chain, and this may have prompted some companies to locate factories in the US, but it is also beneficial to make batteries where EVs are sold. Will be assembled because batteries are heavy and expensive to ship from overseas.

and auto companies Offering more affordable electric options Despite the cost of the battery. The latest came last week from General Motors, a Chevrolet Equinox small SUV. It has a starting price of around $30,000 and a range-per-charge of 250 miles or 400 kilometers. Buyers can get a range of 300 miles or 500 kms if they pay more.

Equinox North American Assembly checks the box. It will be made in Mexico. The company would not specify where the battery would be manufactured but it is working on meeting other criteria for getting the tax credit.

Krischer reported from Detroit. AP writer Zeke Miller in Washington contributed.

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