(ATF) US President Joe Biden pushed his $174 billion national electric vehicle (EV) proposal on Tuesday, urging carmakers to build domestically.
He even showed a personal interest in EV development by test driving a new truck.
Biden, wearing his trademark aviator sunglasses, test drove a battery-powered Ford F-150 Lightning – due to be unveiled on Wednesday – declaring: “This sucker’s quick.”
The Lightning can hit 0-60 mph in about 4.4 seconds, he marvelled, prompting consternation among Ford executives who had wanted to keep such details secret.
Biden’s EV package is part of his $2-trillion infrastructure plan that would also build roads and bridges.
“We need automakers and other companies to keep investing here in America and not take the benefits of our public investments and expand electric vehicles and battery manufacturing abroad,” Biden said.
His comments came as worker representatives and executives traded barbs over the future of EV production in the US.
Trade unions have criticised General Motors and Ford for announcing they would build many EVs in Mexico.
But GM noted it had recently announced nearly 9,000 new American jobs and $9 billion in US EV and battery facilities. Bill Ford, Ford’s executive chairman, said the company employs more union workers than GM.
Separately, luxury Italian carmaker Lamborghini on Tuesday unveiled Tuesday a 1.5-billion-euro ($1.8 billion) electrification plan for its luxury vehicles, joining a global push away from fossil fuels at the risk of upsetting fans.
The company, which is owned by Volkswagen subsidiary Audi, said its first hybrid series production car would hit the market in 2023, with all its models “electrified” by the end of 2024.
But a battery-only model won’t be released until the second half of the decade, Lamborghini said.
With reporting by Agence France-Presse and Reuters