President Joe Biden is putting the spotlight Tuesday on the electric vehicle future he envisions for the United States, as a way to tackle climate change and create jobs.
Watch Biden’s remarks in the player above.
Biden toured Ford’s Electric Vehicle Center, a new factory being built on the grounds of the automaker’s massive Rouge complex in Dearborn, Michigan.
The president was visiting a day before Ford is expected to release details of an all-electric version of its F-150 pickup truck called the Lightning.
Biden has proposed a $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan that aims to help transform the automotive sector by making vehicles that don’t burn gasoline more mainstream. He also sees a shift toward electric vehicles as a major part of his plan to fight climate change.
He also has to overcome a major hurdle before his electric vehicle zero emission future becomes reality: the lack of stations where people can plug in and juice up their engines.
To that end, Biden has proposed $174 billion for electric vehicles. That money includes rebates and incentives for consumer purchases, along with money to build 500,000 charging stations by 2030.
The White House says the U.S. has just a fraction, about one-third, of the electric vehicle market share that China has, and far fewer public charging points — and needs to catch up before it can take the lead.
Speaking to Ford plant employees on his tour, Biden said the U.S. has “got to take over the world market. That’s what this is about, being the best in the world and exporting things.”
Biden also has pushed the transition to electric vehicles as a way to create good-paying American union jobs for the next generation of transportation. Critics of his plan say that his taxes and the move away from fossil fuels would increase expenses for businesses and possibly cost jobs.