(DETROIT) — President Joe Biden on Wednesday touted his administration’s work on electric vehicles while touring the 2022 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, describing a future where charging stations are as easily available as gas stations.
“The great American road trip is going to be fully electrified,” Biden said as he announced the first round of federal funding for electric vehicle chargers from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law he signed last year.
“We’re approving funding for the first 35 states, including Michigan, to build their own electric charging infrastructure throughout their state,” Biden said. “And you are gonna be part of a network of 500,000 charging stations.”
According to a White House official, the $900 million investment will help build chargers across 53,000 miles of the national highway system.
Biden also took a moment to promote the new EV tax credits included in the Inflation Reduction Act. The law, signed last month, includes a $7,500 credit for new vehicles and a $4,000 credit for purchases of used EVs.
The Inflation Reduction Act also requires that an electric vehicle and its batteries must be assembled in North America in order to qualify for the federal tax incentive.
“It used to be that to buy an electric car you had to make all sorts of compromises, but not now,” Biden said. “Thanks to American ingenuity, American engineers, American auto workers, that’s all changing. Today, if you want an electric vehicle with a long range, you can buy one made in America.”
Several states are beginning to phase-out gas-powered vehicles and shift to electric cars. California became the first state in the U.S. to implement regulations that ban the sale of new gas-engine vehicles by 2035. The Golden State will require all new cars to run on electricity or hydrogen.
Biden, a self-professed car enthusiast, toured the showroom alongside General Motors CEO Mary Barra and its president Mark Ruess. At one point, the president got inside a bright orange Chevrolet Corvette Z06 — which has gasoline-fueled V8 engine — and revved the engine.
“Move out of the way everybody, this thing flies,” the president said to the press. Biden has his own vintage 1967 Corvette.
After turning off the engine, Biden joked that he was going to tell his Secret Service detail he was driving home.
Biden also stopped to check out a bright blue Electric Chevy Silverado, a yellow-orange Mustang, and a group of new plug-in electric vehicle Jeeps before getting behind the wheel and driving an electric Cadillac Lyriq.
“Come on jump in, I’ll give you a ride back to Washington,” Biden quipped.
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