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Biden pushes for electric vehicle future in visit to Detroit GM plant

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Biden pushes for electric vehicle future in visit to Detroit GM plant
President Joe Biden visited General Motors' "Factory Zero" in Detroit as he hailed the provisions for electric vehicles included in the newly signed $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill. Photo by Ting Shen/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 17 (UPI) -- President Joe Biden hailed the provisions for the United States' electric vehicle infrastructure included in the $1.2 trillion bill he recently signed into law during a visit to Detroit on Wednesday.

Biden visited General Motos' "Factory Zero," where the automaker is pushing its goal to shift to producing all electric vehicles by 2035 as he detailed the benefits of the newly signed infrastructure law and pushed for his Build Back Better social spending bill.

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He praised GM CEO Mary Barra for the commitment to become a carbon neutral company in its global products and operations by 2040 along with ending tailpipe emissions from new light-duty vehicles by 2035.

"You electrified the entire automobile industry, you led and it matters," Biden said.

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Biden added the company's decision would contribute to "drastically improving the climate by reducing hundreds of millions of barrels of oil that will not be used when we're all electric."

The global auto industry will invest at least $500 billion in its efforts to ramp up electric car production by the end of the decade, according to a recent study. Industry analysts also believe that more than 50 long-range battery electric vehicles will be available to Americans in the 2022 model-year, up from about a dozen in the 2021 model-year.

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Biden said his administrative agenda will work alongside this commitment from the production side.

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"With this infrastructure law along with my Build Back Better plan we're going to kickstart new batteries, materials and parts production, and recycling, boosting the manufacturing of clean vehicles with new loans and new tax credits, creating new purchase incentives for consumers to buy American-made, union-made clean vehicles," he said.

He added that the infrastructure law will hire union workers to install a national network of 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations "along our roads and highways and communities."

Biden's electric vehicle ambition will face some pushback, however, as Canadian Prime Minister Justin -- who is set to meet with the president on Thursday -- is expected to call on Congress to reconsider a tax rebate for electric vehicle owners included in the Build Back Better Act.

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"We are a little bit concerned about the zero emission vehicle mandates, or rebates," Trudeau said at a public forum earlier Wednesday. "[That] could have a real negative impact."

This week in Washington

President Joe Biden leads a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador at the North American Leaders' Summit in the East Room of the White House on Thursday. Photo by Chris Kleponis/UPI | License Photo

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