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Biden drives electric vehicle and touts it as the "future of the auto industry"

Biden talks jobs and energy at Ford plant
Biden talks jobs and energy at Ford plant 25:45

Dearborn, Michigan — President Biden traveled Tuesday to Dearborn, Michigan, to visit Ford's electric vehicle plant as his administration continues to push for alternative forms of energy and transportation. Mr. Biden also drove the Ford F-150 Lightning truck, an electric vehicle, while at the facility.

"The future of the auto industry is electric. There's no turning back," Mr. Biden said in remarks from the auto plant, known as the Ford Rouge Electric Vehicle Center.

Ford is previewing the new F-150 Lightning, which will be built by United Auto Workers members. Mr. Biden has aligned himself with unions, and is pushing his multi-trillion-dollar infrastructure package, known as the American Jobs Plan.

"Right now, China is leading in this race, make no bones about it," Mr. Biden said about the production of electric vehicles. "They will not win this race. We can't let them."

Biden
President Biden stops to talk to the media as he drives a Ford F-150 Lightning truck at Ford Dearborn Development Center, on Tuesday, May 18, 2021, in Dearborn, Michigan. Evan Vucci / AP

Mr. Biden denounced the Trump administration for not focusing enough on development of electric vehicles, or on shoring up the nation's infrastructure.

"They announced infrastructure week!" Mr. Biden said. "And they announced it, and announced it, and announced it, and announced it — every week for four years. Didn't do a damn thing. They didn't get the job done."

The president has argued the American Jobs Plan would revitalize the economy by providing jobs not only related to traditional infrastructure projects such as roads and bridges, but with a focus on climate-related industries as well.

In a fact sheet released Tuesday morning, the White House said the president's American Jobs Plan would "accelerate our domestic EV industry by driving demand for advanced cars and trucks, reinvigorating our automotive sector and battery manufacturing, deploying a national network of chargers, and advancing our innovation capacity for the next generation of technology."

"We're honored to host President Biden at Ford Motor Company and excited to preview for him the new F-150 Lightning and the exciting technologies that made it possible," said Melissa Miller, manager of government and public policy communications for Ford. "Electrifying America's best-selling vehicle is a milestone in our country's transition to cleaner transportation. The F-150 Lightning will be built by UAW workers at an innovative, green plant on the historic Rouge complex in Dearborn, Michigan."

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President Biden speaks after a tour of the Ford Rouge EV Center on Tuesday, May 18, 2021, in Dearborn, Michigan. Evan Vucci / AP

The visit also came after a ransomware attack briefly shuttered gas operations at Colonial Pipeline, creating gas shortages and long lines at the pumps across the South. 

Michigan swung for Mr. Biden in November, after it was considered a possible swing state that could have gone for him or former President Trump. 

Dearborn is a city of under 100,000 people just outside Detroit. Detroit's population has sunk over the years, in a city that was once the hub of the automobile industry. In 1950, it was the fifth-largest city in the United States with 1.8 million people. It has lost more than 1 million people since then. 

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