While yesterday marked the official debut of the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning electric pickup, Tuesday brought some media attention to the new truck as well. That is because President Joe Biden made a visit to Ford’s Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn. And while the President was at the plant to make a speech, it was what happened afterwards that really caught everyone’s attention. Thanks to a bit of executive privilege, President Biden became the first person outside of the Ford Motor Company to get behind the wheel of the new F-150 Lightning at the automakers test facility down the road. This wasn’t originally part of the plan for the visit, but thanks to Automotive News, details have come to light on how the commander-in-chief ended up behind the wheel of Ford’s new electric pickup truck.
Joe Biden And The F-150 Lightning
As one might expect, Ford and the White House were in talks weeks before President Joe Biden was slated to visit Michigan. Ford’s head of communications Mark Truby told Automotive News that there was talks of the President driving the electric truck early on, but that the idea was quickly dismissed. Things looked a little different the night before Biden’s visit however, when the White House informed Ford that Biden might want to give the truck a spin. Biden has long been known as a bit of a gearhead, with a nice C2 Corvette in his collection. This turn of events caused a bit of a scramble in Dearborn, as the automaker needed to locate a prototype fit for the undertaking. In the middle of the night, a 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning was located and moved over to the automaker’s test track near the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center.
That said, there was still no confirmation that President Joe Biden would actually end up driving the electric truck until right before his speech. In fact, Truby noted that the whole ordeal happened rather quickly.
“It was an audible by the president,” said Truby. “It turned out to be pretty serendipitous.”
The Test Drive
After riding down to the test track with Ford CEO Jim Farley in the motorcade, President Biden and a Secret Service agent hopped inside the 2022 Ford F-150 lightning procured the evening before and let the thing rip. The president now famously spilled the beans on the 0-60 mph capabilities of the truck, asking the team to clarify whether it took 4.3 or 4.4 seconds to smash the benchmark. This caused Farely to have a bit of a laugh, reminding the president that that information was still not public. President Joe Biden then quickly peeled away, embargoed information be damned. Regardless, the whole event gave Ford some of the best marketing they could have asked for, when Biden then stated “this sucker’s quick”. It’s hard to get a more public nod of approval than that, folks.
So while President Joe Biden’s joy ride in the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning was thrown together at the last minute, the automaker likely didn’t mind going to the trouble. Considering the Secret Service isn’t too keen on letting presidents get behind the wheel, we’re sure Biden didn’t want to let the opportunity pass by. Either way, Truby did go on to tell Automotive News that such an event is “definitely a presidential perk”. One of many, we imagine.