(WXYZ) — President Joe Biden visited metro Detroit on Tuesday to tour the Ford Rouge Electric Vehicle Center, just one day ahead of the automaker's reveal of its all-new F-150 Lightning electric pick-up.
Following his speech, pool reports say Biden was given the opportunity to drive the F-150 Lightning before its official unveiling. Photos show the President behind the wheel of a camouflaged truck.
Biden's visit was met with protests amid the conflict between Israel and Gaza. Those protesters likely calling on him to do something about the conflict in the Middle East.
"A couple of months ago, a couple of people said to me wouldn't it be good to invite the president to the unveiling of the F-150 vehicle. I spoke with the UAW and they thought it was a good idea," Rep. Debbie Dingell said.
"The president really wanted to get to Dearborn to visit the Ford Electric Vehicle Center because we have the iconic F-150," White House National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy added.
The F-150 Lightning is the latest EV truck development, following announcements by GM, Rivian and Tesla, as the White House pushes for more green cars.
“Joe Biden and Gretchen Whitmer are too busy championing a plan that will be a wrecking ball to Michigan’s economy. Instead of destroying good paying union jobs, decimating Detroit’s world-class auto industry, and creating a fuel crisis, Whitmer and Biden should pay attention to the crumbling roads around them.” said RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel.
“My name is Joe Biden, and I’m a car guy.”— Governor Gretchen Whitmer (@GovWhitmer) May 18, 2021
I’m grateful to have a partner in the White House as Michigan’s auto industry continues innovating and leading in EV manufacturing. https://t.co/zhWtAdD5hO
Earlier today, @GovWhitmer and I were honored to join @POTUS in Dearborn. It's clear that now is the best time to invest in EVs, infrastructure, and R&D – leading to strong, durable growth for decades to come and there is no better place than right here in Michigan. #MotorCity https://t.co/BnYbn9vP6f— Garlin Gilchrist II (@LtGovGilchrist) May 18, 2021
Michelle Krebs from Autotrader.com said we're still in the early stages with less than 2% of vehicle sales being electric.
This visit comes also during conflict in the Middle East.
Biden has expressed his support for Israel repeatedly. The Israeli government is bombarding families in Gaza and more than 200 people have died.
Day of protests from pro-Palestinian groups have taken place, and now, the visit to Dearborn, which has the nation's highest concentration of Arab Americans.
In a letter to the president, Imad Hamad, executive director of the American Human Rights Council, wrote in part, "We urge you to act swiftly, fairly and justly to end the human suffering that the Israeli war on Gaza is imposing on its population. the fact that Israel bombed the media's building is evidence that Israel is hitting civilian targets. the goal of the Israeli war is to harm the population and terrorize it. This is an illegal and immoral war."