Biden: we will install a network of 500 thousand chargers for electric vehicles
President Joe Biden, a “car man” with his own vintage Corvette, showed off his administration’s efforts to promote electric vehicles during a visit Wednesday to the Detroit auto show.
Biden visited the auto show to promote the purchase of electric vehicles (EVs) and toured a mix of hybrid, electric and combustion vehicles made in the country by automakers Chevrolet, General Motors, Ford and Stellantis.
Biden has taken credit for the recent boom in announcements about new electric vehicle battery and assembly plants, and Biden’s infrastructure legislation signed into law on August 16 has a lot to do with it, providing $5 billion of dollars over five years to help states create a network of EV charging stations.
In Detroit, Biden announced approval of the first $900 million in infrastructure funding to build a network of electric vehicle chargers along 53,000 miles of the national highway system, coast to coast, in 34 states and Puerto Rico. .
In practical terms, the approval means that residents of some of these states may start to see more charging stations along major thoroughfares starting next summer. Biden has a goal of installing 500,000 chargers across the country and building a network of fast-charging stations.
Under the proposed guidelines, states would be required to install at least one station with four fast-charging ports every 50 miles along these corridors, and ensure they are within a mile of an off-ramp.
Behind the wheel
During a tour of the convention center, the Democratic president climbed into the driver’s seat of a bright orange Chevrolet Corvette Z06 — which starts at $106,000 and is not an electric vehicle — and started its engine, along with CEO of GM, Mary Barra.
Biden then admired the new electric Ford Mustang Mach-E with Ford CEO Bill Ford praising the model’s performance. “It’s unbelievable speed,” Biden said, asking, “Does it have a launch button?” He also explored less flashy vehicles, like Ford’s all-electric E-Transit van and F-150 pickup.
Biden eventually got behind the wheel of an electric Cadillac Lyriq off-roader, which starts at $63,000, briefly driving it down a blue-carpeted hall hallway.
“Get on, I’ll take you to Washington,” he joked with reporters. “It’s a beautiful car,” she said, “but I love the Corvette.”
Under the new law, electric vehicles must be manufactured in North America to be eligible for a federal tax credit of up to $7,500. 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.
Passage of the measure set off a scramble by automakers to speed up efforts to find North American-made batteries and battery minerals from the US, Canada or Mexico to make sure electric vehicles are eligible for the credit.
In April, Ford began building electric trucks at a new factory in Michigan. General Motors has renovated an older factory in Detroit to make Hummers and electric trucks.
- Honda and Toyota announced battery plants in the US after the law passed, which had been planned for months.
- Ford said last September that it would build the next generation of electric trucks at a plant in Tennessee.
- GM has announced electric vehicle assembly plants in Lansing, Michigan; Spring Hill, Tennessee; and Orion Township, Michigan.
- In May, Stellantis, formerly Fiat Chrysler, said it would build another joint-venture battery factory in Indiana, and announced a battery plant in Canada.
- Hyundai announced in May assembly and battery plants to be built in Georgia.
- Vietnamese automaker VinFast announced factories in North Carolina in July.