WASHINGTON (AFP) – United States (US) President Joe Biden burned rubber in a late night TV auto show on Wednesday that gave the Democrat a chance to tout the electric car future – and indulge in his beloved, gas guzzling past.
A speedometer displayed on Jay Leno’s Garage showed Biden hitting 190 kilometres per hour in his green convertible 1967 Corvette Stingray – a wedding present from his father that he has cherished ever since. The 79-year-old president, whose party is expected to struggle to hold onto Congress in the upcoming midterm elections, was in a different kind of race, pitting his classic ride against a far more powerful 2015 Corvette.
The friendly drag race was held at a Secret Service training facility and featured the son of the late former secretary of state and top general Colin Powell, who took on then vice president Biden in the same set of cars in 2016.
Dressed in a blue polo shirt and sunglasses, Biden seemed to enjoy the thrill – a rare chance to escape the strict security rules preventing presidents from getting behind the wheel of a car. But Biden, a self-confessed car nut, spent most of the show with comedian Leno talking about huge investments made under his presidency in the electric car industry.
Driving together in an electric Ford F100 truck, Biden told Leno that government plans to install half a million charging stations around the US will enable all-electric coast-to-coast road trips. “It’s a game-changer,” he said.