DETROIT (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden climbed behind the wheel of an electric Hummer vehicle on Wednesday and sped off with a screeching of tires, in a test drive to tout billions in electric vehicle investment.
"Anyone want to jump in the back, or on the roof?" Biden asked reporters after taking a few laps at a General Motors plant. "These suckers are something else!"
Biden, a Democrat, signed a $1 trillion infrastructure bill into law on Monday and, with his approval ratings sagging, is eager to promote it as the fulfillment of a promise he made as a presidential candidate in the 2020 race for the White House.
The law, which passed with support from Democrats and Republicans, provides $7.5 billion in funding to build out the nation's electric vehicle charging network, investments the industry says will inspire more Americans to buy electric vehicles, and manufacturers to produce them.
It provides money to build EV chargers along highway corridors and within communities to help facilitate long-distance and local travel.
Biden highlighted the investments during a visit to a General Motors Co electric vehicle assembly plant in Detroit, the largest city in Michigan, a key political battleground state in U.S. elections.
The president will deliver remarks on how the law "builds electric vehicle charging stations across the country to make it easier to drive an electric vehicle, reduces emissions to fight the climate crisis, and creates good-paying, union jobs across the country," the White House said in a statement.
A broad transition to electric cars and trucks will help the United States meet Biden's pledge to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions 50% from 2005 levels by 2030.
Democrats are working on a separate social spending and climate bill that contains up to $12,500 in tax credits for U.S.-made EVs, including a $4,500 credit for union-made vehicles. The bill is a key pillar of Biden's domestic agenda but has faced hurdles to passage from competing views between progressive and moderate lawmakers in his party.
(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Mary Milliken, Stephen Coates and Karishma Singh)