President Obama isn’t driving much, as chauffeurs tend to handle that for him these days. However, according to GM, the President recently took some time to get behind the wheel of a new Chevy Volt as it came off the line in a GM plant in Hamtramck, Michigan.
The president stopped by the plant on July 30th to visit workers and highlight the fact that the plant had managed to stay open this summer, despite a scheduled shut down. Amid ongoing economic woes–which have hit Michigan especially hard–the President highlighted the 3 million jobs created or saved by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, as well as the findings of a recent report, saying, via the White House blog, “In the year before GM and Chrysler emerged from bankruptcy, the auto industry shed 334,000 jobs. In the year since, auto industry employment has increased by 55,000 jobs. This is the fastest year-over-year growth in auto employment since 1999.”
He went on to note that the boost from the Recovery Act’s investments in the clean energy have allowed the industry to “turn toward the future” in ways many thought would never happen. According to the White House, a recently released interactive map offers a glimpse of how America can move back into a leadership role in the next generation of fuel efficient and electric vehicles.
As far as his test-drive of the Volt, the President reported that it was “Pretty smooth,” though he apparently didn’t have a lot to go on, as he was only able to drive the vehicle about 40 feet. The impromptu drive occurred after consultations among the Secret Service and Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, who said he hoped the Volt had an air bag. (It has eight.)