By Nikki Carvajal and Maegan Vazquez, CNN
President Joe Biden delivered a speech in Detroit on Wednesday announcing the approval of the first $900 million for electric vehicle chargers across the country, which he said will help build charging stations in 35 states.
“In the past, to buy an electric car, you had to make all kinds of compromises. But not right now. Thanks to American ingenuity, American engineers, American autoworkers — everything is changing,” Biden said in a speech following a tour of the International Auto Show. North America in Detroit.
He added, “Today, I am pleased to announce that we are approving funding for the first 35 states, including Michigan, to build their own statewide electric charging infrastructure.”
The money is part of the bipartisan Infrastructure Act and will help build chargers on 53,000 miles of the national highway system. The funding will build half a million chargers across the country, Biden said.
During his speech at Motor City, the president said Michigan is “building the future of the electric vehicle” and that funding for its key legislative accomplishments – including the Infrastructure Act, CHIPS and Science Act and the Inflation Reduction Act – will “advance the future of electric vehicles in the United States.
“The Great American Road Trip is going to be fully electrified, whether you’re driving coast to coast along I-10 or on I-75 here in Michigan,” Biden added. “Charging stations will be in place and as easy to find as gas stations are now.”
He added that American manufacturing “is back” and that the American people “should be confident that we are on the right track.”
“Since President Biden took office, companies like Toyota, Honda, Ford Motor Company, General Motors and Panasonic have announced investments of nearly $85 billion to manufacture electric vehicles, EV batteries and chargers. across America, including North Carolina, Michigan, Ohio, Missouri and Kansas,” a White House official said in a statement.
Biden is also expected to speak with unionized workers, CEOs and local leaders “throughout the day,” the official said.
During a tour of the auto show ahead of his Wednesday speech, Biden got behind the wheel of several cars.
Inside an orange Corvette ZO6, the president told reporters, “I’ll tell you what, I’m telling my secret service I’m going home!”
Biden also toured several electric vehicles, including a Silverado EV, which starts production next year in Michigan and is estimated to have a range of 400 miles on a full charge, the F150 Lightning, which he has tested last year, and the Jeep Grand Cherokee. 4x 30th anniversary edition.
Biden also briefly — and slowly — drove an electric Cadillac Lyriq down the blue carpet at the auto show with a Secret Service agent sitting in the passenger seat.
“Come on, get on. I’ll drive you to Washington,” he told reporters. “It’s an Uber.”
This story was updated with additional developments on Wednesday.
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CNN’s Allie Malloy and Betsy Klein contributed to this report