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Transportation & Infrastructure

President Biden praises "one hell of a vehicle" during tour of electric vehicle plant in Detroit

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White House Pool
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White House Pool
President Joe Biden tours Factory Zero in Detroit.

A presidential visit to Detroit Wednesday highlighted General Motors' investment in electric vehicles.

President Joe Biden drove a GMC Hummer EV during a visit to GM’s Factory Zero Detroit. Biden excitedly complemented the vehicle’s steering radius but did not answer when asked by the pool how fast he was going.

“God, it’s good to be back in Detroit,” Biden said to applause, adding, “and that Hummer is one hell of a vehicle.”

The President also praised the United Auto Workers' role in the production of EVs.

"Masterpieces of modern manufacturing built by union workers and proof that America has what it takes to win the competition of the 21st century,” Biden told the crowd made up largely of UAW members.

The president was in Detroit primarily to promote the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill he signed on Monday.

The bill contains billions of dollars to improve the nation’s EV infrastructure, including for the installation of electric vehicle chargers across the country.

General Motors retooled its Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant to exclusively produce electric vehicles.

Factory Zero has been producing pre-production vehicles, but a GM official said the first EVs will roll off the line for sale to buyers later this year.

The GMC Hummer is being sold at a starting price of $108,700. Currently, the U.S. market share of plug-in electric vehicle sales is one-third the size of the Chinese EV market.

General Motors is planning to launch 30 EV nameplates by 2025, two-thirds of which will be available in the U.S.

GM CEO Mary Barra said Factory Zero is setting the stage for what’s to come in Michigan and in many other of the automaker’s facilities in the United States that will be transformed to support the production of full electric vehicles.

“We need everybody in on this journey to create a better world for future generations,” said Barra.

Barra said General Motors plans to invest $35 billion in electric and autonomous vehicle programs globally between 2020 and 2025.

During his speech, President Biden also touted the latest employment numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which show the economy added created 710,000 more jobs over the last four months than it had previously reported, in addition to the 5.6 million already counted.

The rosy outlook highlighted by President Biden is not shared by Republicans.

Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel criticized the Democratic president’s economic policies.

“Joe Biden...continue(s) to fail Michiganders with skyrocketing gas prices, rising energy costs, and supply chain issues that punish hardworking families and key industries,” McDaniel said.