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Capitol Report: Biden to plug his plan for electric vehicles in visit to Ford plant

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President Joe Biden is scheduled to visit a Ford Motor Co. plant in Michigan on Tuesday in a push for his electric-vehicle plan, as the White House and lawmakers continue to wrangle over an infrastructure deal.

Biden has proposed $174 billion for electric vehicles as part of his $2.3 trillion infrastructure package, a measure he is negotiating with Republican lawmakers. The president’s plan would, for example, build 500,000 EV charging stations.

Read: Biden’s plan for 500,000 EV charging stations faces tough road ahead

Biden is planning to visit Ford’s
F,
+0.66%

Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, and give remarks afterwards. While at the facility he will get a look at the F-150 Lightning, an electric version of Ford’s popular pickup slated to go on sale next year.  

“The president is going there because electrifying America’s best-selling vehicle — or electrifying America’s vehicles is an important part of his priorities, an important part of his focus,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters last week.  

A White House document released before Biden’s departure for Michigan painted the U.S. as in need of catching up in the EV space, particularly to China.

“Despite pioneering the technology, the United States is behind in the race to manufacture these vehicles and the batteries that go in them,” it said, adding the U.S. market share of EV sales is a third that of the Chinese EV market. China had about 800,000 charging points in 2020, compared to 100,000 in the U.S., the document said.

“President Biden believes it is time for this to change and for the U.S. to lead in EV manufacturing, infrastructure, deployment and innovation,” the White House said.

When asked Tuesday about Ford’s efforts to lobby Washington on issues such as EVs, Psaki told reporters she “would say to any skeptics — anyone who’s questioning why we’re investing in the electric vehicle markets or why the president’s proposing that — that’s where jobs are, that’s where the future of auto manufacturing is.”

Biden met last week with a small group of Republican senators who have proposed a smaller infrastructure plan than his. He said more talks were planned on the issue. Senate Republicans could unveil a new infrastructure proposal as early as Tuesday, a Reuters report said.

Senior officials from the Biden administration were due to talk with lawmakers on Tuesday in Washington, Psaki said. “We expect there to be ongoing engagements — follow-up conversations, but that is also happening today,” she said.

See: Biden rolls out $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan: ‘It’s bold, yes, and we can get it done’

And read: Stop new oil and gas investment, energy watchdog says in tougher stance on emissions

U.S. stocks
SPX,
-0.05%

DJIA,
-0.24%

COMP,
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were trading flat to higher on Tuesday, as investors assessed strong earnings from major retailers, as well as weaker-than-expected housing data.

MarketWatch’s Victor Reklaitis contributed to this report.

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