Biden gets Detroit auto show tours from GM, Ford execs

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President Biden visited the Detroit Auto Show on Wednesday, meeting with General Motors CEO Mary Barra and Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford.

The president slowly inched the electric Cadillac Lyriq down the blue carpeted floor of the North American International Auto Show.

Smiling at reporters, he said: "Come on, jump in, I'll give you a ride to Washington."

When asked how it compared to the bright orange Chevrolet Corvette Z06 – which is not an electric vehicle (EV) – Biden remarked that it was a "beautiful car." 

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The president, who has his own vintage Corvette,  is showcasing his administration’s efforts to promote EVs and the new law that offers tax incentives for buying them.

Biden toured a mix of American-manufactured hybrid, electric and combustion vehicles from Chevrolet, General Motors, Ford and Stellantis.

That included the new electric Ford Mustang Mach-E. 

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President Biden gets into a Corvette during a tour of the Detroit Auto Show, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) | AP Newsroom

"It’s amazing the speed," he said. "Does it have a launch button?"

Biden also looked at  Ford’s all-electric E-Transit van and F-150 pickup truck.

The president drove the Ford F-150 during a factory visit in Dearborn, Michigan, last year.

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Biden was set to announce the approval of the first $900 million in infrastructure funds to build EV chargers in 35 states.

The Inflation Reduction Act, which he signed in August, provides $5 billion over five years to help states create a network of charging stations.

Under the infrastructure law, electric vehicles must be built in North America to meet the criteria for a new federal tax credit of up to $7,500.

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President Biden tours the Detroit Auto Show, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) | AP Newsroom

The batteries must also be made in North America and there are also requirements for battery minerals to be produced or recycled on the continent.

To meet demand, Ford started building electric pickup trucks in Michigan in April and announced the next generation would be built at a Tennessee plant.

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A GM battery plant in Ohio has already started manufacturing and electric vehicle assembly plants have been announced in Michigan and Tennessee. An older factory in Detroit was revamped to make electric pickups and Hummers.

Stellantis, which was previously Fiat Chrysler, said it would build another joint venture battery factory in Indiana in addition to one in Canada.

Hyundai announced battery and assembly plants in Georgia and Honda and Toyota have also both announced U.S. battery plants.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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