Detroit is ready to welcome Biden and the new Ford Mustang.
After a hiatus of three years, the Detroit Auto Show is making a comeback later this month. While the reveal of new vehicles like the Ford Mustang will undoubtedly make the headlines, we've just learned that the show will be visited by quite a notable guest: President Biden. In case you haven't noticed, Biden is quite a car nut and has joined in on the buzz generated by new EVs like the GMC Hummer and Ford F-150 Lightning. Biden's appearance at the show comes as his administration pushes forward with a goal to electrify car sales in the United States, with half of all sales to be full electrics or plug-in hybrids by 2030.
Reaching this goal will require much more than the continued release of new, affordable EVs. America also needs to invest heavily in the infrastructure necessary to support the EV revolution. As we reported earlier this week, lithium and copper shortages could hinder Biden's 2030 goals, and North America desperately needs more facilities to procure its own lithium.
As per Reuters, the Commerce Department has set aside $52.2 million for a Detroit regional program to assist Michigan's automotive industry to successfully make the EV transition. However, this project alone is not enough to get Detroit ready for the electrified era.
The Commerce Department said that the Detroit area's "prospects are threatened by the rising global competition in the electric and autonomous vehicle market, by the rapid pace of innovation in new mobility solutions, and by an aging workforce that needs continuous reskilling to keep up with new products and technologies." These concerns come even after $5 billion in private investments in the region.
For individual automakers, the race is on to get new battery production plants up and running in the US. Toyota is investing billions in its North Carolina facility, a decision likely motivated by the controversial Inflation Reduction Act that requires automakers to build EVs in the US to qualify for revised tax credits.
General Motors and Honda have also pledged to spend billions on local battery manufacturing facilities. But despite everything going on behind the scenes, Biden had little to say about his attendance in Detroit other than, "I'll be there. I'm a car guy - as you kind of noticed."
Besides the new Mustang, we also expect Chevrolet to have a few surprises in store; the event will likely be the first opportunity for many to see the newly revealed Chevrolet Equinox EV. The public portion of the Detroit Auto Show starts on September 17 and these tickets cost $20 for adults and $10 for children aged 3 to 12. From the exhibits at the Huntington Place convention center to the monster trucks at the Hart Plaza, it'll be an event to remember.