UNDATED (WOOD) — President Joe Biden was in Dearborn Tuesday to talk about the need to lead the globe in production of electric vehicles and to push for his $2 trillion infrastructure plan.
One day before the official unveiling of the iconic F-150 in an all-electric model, Biden said that the future of the automotive industry is electric and that the American auto industry needs to own that market.
“The question is whether we’ll lead or we’ll fall behind in the race to the future,” he said.
Biden came to Dearborn to praise the work on the F-150 Lightning and tour the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center where it will be built.
But he also brought along a stark reminder that while the future of the auto industry is electric, who controls that future is up for grabs.
“Right now, China is leading in this race,” he said. “Make no bones about it; it’s a fact.”
Biden used the stop to push his $2 trillion infrastructure plan that would, he says, help in securing America’s supply chain and get manufacturing of semiconductor chips and other components for new vehicles back onshore to create jobs and manufacturing security.
While the president admitted the Chinese may currently have an advantage, he added, “I also wanted to put the world on notice: America is back. America is back.”
The president pointed to China’s big lead in battery production, something he wants to see homegrown, like the Georgia-produced battery being used in the F-150.
The president also heaped praise on an important political constituency, the United Auto Workers and the union workers who he said have helped get electric vehicle production to where it is today.
While admitting that the industry and country may have some catching up to do, Biden used an often repeated phrase in his speeches as if to suggest that both are up to the task:
“It’s never been a good bet to bet against America,” he said. “Never, never, never. This is the United States of America. There’s not a single thing — I believe this with every fiber of my being — there’s not a single thing, nothing beyond our capacity when we act together.”
The new F-150 is expected on the street in mid-2022.