President Joe Biden visiting Detroit on Wednesday - what he'll be talking about
DETROIT - President Joe Biden will be making another trip to Michigan Wednesday to showcase the signing of his massive infrastructure package and celebrate the opening of General Motors' new Factory ZERO electric vehicle assembly plant in Detroit. FOX 2 will stream it live on fox2detroit.com and on social media.
This isn't the first time the president has visited Michigan since his tenure in the White House began. It's not even the first time his visit coincides with an electric vehicle focus. In May, he trekked to Dearborn to see Ford's Rouge Electric Vehicle Center and the new F-150 Lightning.
But Nov. 17's visit is the first after securing a major legislative win. The trillion-dollar infrastructure package addresses an array of needs, from improving roads and bridges, boosting public transit, and adapting the country to climate change.
It also comes with money earmarked for electric vehicle charging stations, of which Michigan will get $110 million. Both Ford and GM have spent much of 2021 pivoting the brands toward an electric future. They've announced new factories and models, reframing their global plans to emphasize a more electrified fleet.
But without the infrastructure to charge EVs in the same way gas stations service gas-powered cars, the electric vehicle market will struggle to reach prominence without more financial support.
When will the president arrive?
Biden arrived in Detroit around 2:15 Wednesday afternoon and arrived at the GM Factory ZERO plant around 3:05 p.m.
From there, he'll deliver remarks on the new infrastructure package and building EV charging stations around 4:30 p.m.
He'll depart at 5:40 p.m.
What is the Factory ZERO assembly plant?
Located in Hamtramck, Factory ZERO is a retrofitted assembly plant originally built in the 1980s. But in 2020, GM announced it was building its first plant dedicated entirely to building electric vehicles.
Backed by a $2.2 billion investment, the automaker was scheduled to begin producing all-electric trucks by late 2021.
That includes the new Cruise Origin and GMC Hummer EV, which was revealed on May 20, 2020.
"Factory ZERO is the next battleground in the EV race and will be GM’s flagship assembly plant in our journey to an all-electric future," said Gerald Johnson, GM executive vice president of Global Manufacturing last year. "The electric trucks and SUVs that will be built here will help transform GM and the automotive industry."
What's in the infrastructure package?
Michigan is getting several billion dollars for improving roads, bridges, and public transportation with the new infrastructure bill.
Roads will get $7.2 billion in core federal highway program funding, which represents about a 30% annual increase. Another $563 million will go toward repairing bridges, while $1 billion will be for expanding public transportation.
Repairing water infrastructure, including replacing lead lines that are continuing to plague cities in Michigan today, will get a $1.3 billion boost.
One hundred million dollars will be for expanding the internet to rural places that lack access. Another $110 million is dedicated to EV stations, while $304 million will be for adapting and mitigating the effects of climate change.