President Joe Biden speaks during a tour of the Ford Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, Michigan, May 18, 2021.
Nicholas Comb | AFP | Getty Images
DETROIT – President Joe Biden is expected to use a visit to a Ford Motor plant in Michigan on Tuesday to promote his American-made electric vehicle agenda and $ 2 trillion infrastructure package, which is worth $ 174 billion to advance the development and adoption of electric vehicles.
Biden will tour Ford’s new Rouge Electric Vehicle Center near its headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan, where the F-150 Lightning electric pickup is manufactured. He is expected to see the vehicle and receive a technical briefing on the truck before it is publicly revealed on Wednesday.
Ford’s fully electric F-150 is called Lightning. The all-new F-150 Lightning will be unveiled and broadcast live on May 19th at Ford World Headquarters in Dearborn.
The F-150 Lightning, which Ford is announcing as a turning point for the company, is expected to go on sale in mid-2022. An EV version of the best-selling truck in the U.S. could help Biden advance its EV agenda, which is expected to include incentives for consumers to drive vehicle adoption.
“The fact that he’s coming shows our government’s commitment and interest in electrifying the auto industry,” said Ford Chairman Bill Ford at the automaker’s annual general meeting last week. “The fact that we’re taking America’s favorite vehicle and electrifying it is really a big exclamation point. It has not escaped anyone’s notice, including the President of the United States.”
Reuters reported Tuesday, citing an unpublished White House fact sheet, that Biden is expected to provide more details of his plans to encourage the introduction of electric vehicles during the visit. It is expected to exclude consumer incentives for high-priced luxury electric models while pushing incentives for standard vehicles as well as manufacturers who practice good labor practices.
The F-150 Lightning could be the figurehead for such plans. It’s unionized, unlike the Tesla Cybertruck, and is expected to appeal to more mainstream Americans than General Motors’ upcoming $ 110,000 GMC Hummer EV pickup. However, GM has plans to produce a more mainstream electric version of its Chevrolet Silverado pickup.
Pickups are seen as an important way to increase consumer adoption of electric vehicles as they are the best-selling vehicles in the country. They are also of great importance to fleet and commercial customers who are expected to be among the largest buyers of electric vehicles.
“The F-150 is one of ten vehicles made in the US. If we are to move into an electric future, vehicles like this must be included,” said Kristin Dziczek, senior vice president of research at the Center for Automotive Research.
Biden has expressed an interest in replacing the government’s vast fleet of cars and trucks with US-assembled electric vehicles. In 2019, the U.S. government had 645,000 vehicles driven 4.5 billion miles, consuming 375 million gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel, according to the General Administration of Services.
Importance of the F series
Ford’s F-Series pickups have been the top-selling truck in the United States since the mid-1970s.
The hugely popular truck has been the top priority for 44 years, including 39 years as the best-selling vehicle in the United States. The importance of the truck to Ford cannot be stressed enough. The F-Series, which includes the F-150 and large truck siblings, is the automaker’s profit engine.
For this reason, investors and politicians are closely monitoring Ford’s unveiling of the F-150 Lightning this week.
“It’s their most important product,” said Stephanie Brinley, principal automotive analyst at IHS Markit. “This is an area they have done incredibly well for over 40 years and they are not going to voluntarily relinquish leadership in any element.”
With an annual turnover of 42 billion US dollars, the F-series is one of the largest consumer goods in the country, according to an analysis commissioned by Ford from the Boston Consulting Group last year. According to the study, it is behind Apple’s iPhone, but ahead of Android OS devices, Disney and all major sports leagues.
The F-Series was also found to support approximately 500,000 U.S. jobs through manufacturing and sales, which equates to 13-14 jobs for every Ford direct employee working on the truck. It also contributes around $ 49 billion to U.S. gross domestic product, according to the study.