U.S. President Joe Biden gives an update on his administration’s COVID-19 response and vaccination program in the East Room of the White House on May 17, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Anna Moneymaker | Getty Images
DETROIT – President Joe Biden is expected to use a visit Tuesday to a Ford Motor plant in Michigan to tout his agenda for American-made electric vehicles and his $2 trillion infrastructure package that includes $174 billion to spur the development and adoption of electric vehicles.
Biden will tour Ford’s new Rouge Electric Vehicle Center near the company’s headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan, where the electric F-150 Lightning pickup will be produced. He’s expected to see the vehicle and receive a technical briefing of the truck ahead of its public unveiling Wednesday.
Ford’s all-electric F-150 will be called Lightning. The all-new F-150 Lightning will be revealed May 19 at Ford World Headquarters in Dearborn and livestreamed.
The F-150 Lightning, which Ford is touting as an inflection point for the company, is expected to go on sale by mid-2022. An EV version of the best-selling truck in the U.S. could help Biden push his EV agenda, which is expected to include consumer incentives to spur adoption of the vehicles.
“The fact that he’s coming shows the commitment and the interest our government has in the electrification of the auto industry,” Ford Chairman Bill Ford said last week at the automaker’s annual shareholders meeting. “The fact that we’re taking America’s favorite vehicle and we’re electrifying it really is a huge exclamation point. That hasn’t been lost on anyone, including the president of the United States.”
Reuters, citing an unpublished White House fact sheet, reported Tuesday that Biden is expected to disclose more details of his plans to spur EV adoption during the visit. He’s expected to rule out consumer incentives for high-priced electric luxury models while pushing for incentives for mainstream vehicles as well as manufacturers that use good labor practices.
The F-150 Lightning could be the poster child for such plans. It will be union-made, unlike the Tesla Cybertruck, and it’s expected to appeal more to mainstream Americans than General Motors‘ upcoming $110,000 GMC Hummer EV pickup. GM, however, has plans to produce a more mainstream electric version of its Chevrolet Silverado pickup.
Pickups are viewed as an important way to increase consumer adoption of EVs because they’re the best-selling vehicles in the country. They’re also extremely important to fleet and commercial customers, whom are expected to be among the largest purchasers of EVs.