Mr Biden made an unscheduled visit to a Ford driving course at which safety tests are normally conducted, and had the opportunity to test drive the new Ford F-150 Lightning – the electric vehicle Ford is manufacturing at a plant in Dearborn, Michigan.
“This sucker’s quick,” said Mr Biden, donning aviator sunglasses, from the driver’s seat after pulling the truck up to reporters and photographers.
Asked if he would buy one of the vehicles, Mr Biden said he would, and that he thinks he went 0-100km per hour in about 4.4 seconds – information it appears he wasn’t supposed to share.
A Ford representative told reporters at the course that the information about the vehicle’s speed wasn’t supposed to be public until the truck’s official reveal tomorrow, but said it was OK and laughed.
Mr Biden declined to respond to a question about Israel, a topic that loomed over the Tuesday trip to Dearborn, which has one of the largest Arab American populations in the country.
Over the weekend and into this week, protests have taken place in the city outside Detroit in support of Palestinians in Gaza amid ongoing violence in the Middle East between Hamas and Israel.
When a reporter asked if they could ask about Israel, Mr Biden responded, “No, you can’t, not unless you get in front of the car as I step on it. I’m only teasing.” The joke elicited a couple laughs from the press corps but largely fell flat.
Then he floored it across the driving course. The unscheduled stop was part of a larger tour to promote the new pick-up and the President’s infrastructure proposal.
This isn’t the first time Mr Biden has gotten behind the wheel to advocate for getting more electrical vehicles on the road.
During his 2020 president campaign, Mr Biden released an ad called: “Joe Biden Gets Vetted.”
Sitting behind the wheel of his 1967 Corvette, Mr Biden talked about the potential for an electric model, saying, “I believe that we can own the 21st century market again by moving to electric vehicles.”