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President Biden talks electric vehicles at the Detroit Auto Show

President Joe Biden drives a Cadillac Lyriq through the show room during a tour at the Detroit Auto Show, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022, in Detroit.
Evan Vucci/AP
President Joe Biden drives a Cadillac Lyriq through the show room during a tour at the Detroit Auto Show, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022, in Detroit.

President Joe Biden told a crowd at the North American International Auto Show on Wednesday that his administration is helping fight climate change and bolster the nation’s economy.

Biden highlighted federal investments in tax credits for those buying electric vehicles, also saying he intends to dedicate $900 million in federal funding to help establish a network of 500 thousand charging stations in 35 states, including Michigan.

He told the Detroit crowd that fueling electric vehicle charging stations and technology will help the environment and create new jobs.

“We’re rebuilding an economy – a clean energy economy – and we’re doing it from the bottom up and the middle out,” Biden said. “I’m so tired of trickle down, I can’t stand it.”

Biden and top officials from his administration have been touring battleground political states in recent weeks, praising legislative victories he says will help the nation’s economy. That’s one of the major issues facing Democrats in the mid-term elections.

On Wednesday, he noted that recent legislation that would lead companies to manufacture much-needed semiconductor chips in the US.

“We invented that little computer chip, we invented it here in the United States of America,” Biden said. “We don’t have to rely on other countries to power smart phones, washing machines, automobiles and so much more.”

He also said that funding from the recent infrastructure law will help Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer fulfill her campaign pledge to “fix the damn roads” – especially in Detroit.

“We’ve awarded $25 million to upgrade two miles of Michigan Avenue connecting Corktown and Downtown Detroit. Well that’s because of the leadership of the mayor and the governor. You all know the neighborhood where the Tigers used to play, you know on the corner at Michigan and Trumbull? Ha. Well I tell you what, this funding is gonna help restore Michigan Avenue and the former glory and make improvements in the future as well.”

The president says he envisions a future where electric vehicle charging stations are as commonplace as gasoline stations, but he still had some love for gasoline powered cars at the show – at one point revving the engine of a new orange Corvette and joking that he would tell the Secret Service he planned to drive home.

Quinn Klinefelter is a host and Senior News Editor for 101.9 WDET, anchoring midday newscasts and preparing reports for WDET, NPR and the BBC. Klinefelter joined WDET in 1998 after earning a M.A. from the nation’s top-ranked journalism school, the University of Missouri-Columbia, and working as a sports correspondent for BBC Radio 4 and as a talk show host, anchor and reporter for Wisconsin Public Radio.