DETROIT, Michigan — President Joe Biden disrupted the Detroit auto show media preview press conference schedule today, but brought news of a $7.5 billion plan to install more electric vehicle chargers.
With an initial $900 million government investment, chargers will be installed across 53,000 miles in the national highway system beginning in 35 states, making EV chargers as easy to find as gas stations, Biden promises.
The president toured the show floor at the Huntington Place convention center, paying special attention to the EV displays.
He slid into the driver seat of an orange 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 — not an EV — and revved the engine, before taking the stage for a 20-minute pep talk for the auto industry. Biden’s father ran the largest Chevy dealership in Biden's home state of Delaware for years.
“You all know I'm a car guy,” Biden said during the speech. “I'm here because the auto show and the vehicles here give me so many reasons to be optimistic about the future.”
Biden’s visit included a tour with top executives of General Motors featuring the Chevrolet electric vehicle portfolio: Silverado EV, Equinox EV, Blazer EV, Bolt EV and Bolt EUV. Biden also got behind the wheel of a Cadillac Lyriq EV. The automaker says it will stop making gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035.
This year’s Detroit show marks the first North American International Auto Show in more than three years. It’s also the first time the show is being held in warm weather, departing from its traditional January time slot. Organizers had planned to move the event to the summer in 2020, but it was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Instead of being confined to the inside of a building, this year’s event aims to offer showgoers, particularly families, a more interactive experience, including vehicle rides and drives from Stellantis brands Jeep and Ram.
Outside of Huntington Place, Jeep is displaying what it claims is the world’s largest duck, a tribute to “ducking,” where Jeep owners leave rubber ducks with notes on each other’s vehicle hoods.
Fans can take photos with the 61-foot tall, 8,000-pound duck and receive their own rubber duck (while supplies last). Those who post those photos on social media channels with the hashtag #duckduckJeep will be entered into a national sweepstakes.
Attendees who register to participate in any Stellantis experience at the show are automatically entered for a chance to win a $100,000 voucher toward an eligible Jeep brand vehicle from Stellantis. A winner will be randomly selected in 2023.
For auto enthusiasts who can’t attend the show in person, Stellantis has created a virtual auto show highlighting the company’s newest technologies via highly detailed interactive product tours.
Jeep also unveiled the 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe 30th Anniversary edition and the new heritage-inspired 2023 Jeep Wrangler Willys 4xe.
Chrysler brand unveiled the 2023 Chrysler 300C, powered by a 6.4L HEMI engine with 485 horsepower. The special, limited-production run — only 2,000 units will be offered in the U.S. with another 200 available in Canada —marks the end of the vehicle. Stellantis says Chrysler 300 production will end following the 2023 model year.
Chevrolet introduced the 2023 Tahoe RST Performance Edition, which features more horsepower and speed than ever before, along with four-wheel-drive. The brand created a 42-second video touting the vehicle’s new features.
Ford is scheduled to host a press conference at 8:30 p.m. where a new Mustang will be revealed.