U.S. President Joe Biden test drove and praised an electric vehicle loaded with batteries jointly developed by LG Energy Solution and General Motors (GM).
President Biden visited a GM plant in Detroit, Michigan, on Nov. 17 (U.S. local time). It was his second visit to an electric vehicle plant, after the first one to a Ford plant. The visits were intended to promote his infrastructure investment bill.
The electric car driven by President Biden on the day was a Hummer electric pickup truck. Production of the Hummer was discontinued due to its poor fuel efficiency in the past, but it was recreated into an electric car and has been gaining popularity.
The pickup truck is loaded with an Ultium battery, which was jointly developed and produced by LG Energy Solution and GM. The Korea Society, a private Korea-U.S. friendship organization, bestowed the Van Fleet Award on the two companies, saying Ultium batteries are emerging as a representative example of cooperation between Korean and U.S. companies.
President Biden is giving added impetus to the promotion of U.S. electric vehicles. During his visit to the Ford plant, he test drove a covered Ford F-150 electric pickup truck himself. Since taking office, President Biden has been actively fostering the electric vehicle industry to promote eco-friendly policies and expand infrastructure investment. The US$1.2 trillion infrastructure investment bill signed on Nov. 15 sets aside US$7.5 billion for installing electric vehicle charging stations.
Meanwhile, controversy is brewing over subsidy discrimination promoted by President Biden in the process of fostering the electric vehicle industry. The Biden administration and the Democratic Party are seeking subsidies for U.S. electric vehicles through an additional tax deduction of US$4,500 per unit. The pro-union Biden administration plans to provide purchase subsidies only to U.S. automakers with unions. Tesla and foreign automakers such as Toyota, Volkswagen, and Hyundai Motor do not have unions. Thus, these companies are complaining about the subsidy policy.