President Joe Biden is mulling the idea of replacing his Cadillac presidential limousine, which is colloquially known as ‘The Beast’, with a more eco-friendly, battery-powered state limo.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked by reporters this week if Biden would be open to the idea of electrifying the White House’s vehicle fleet, including the presidential limousine that he was seen riding in during his visit to Ford’s Dearborn HQ this week. Psaki said Biden is not only open to the idea, but that he has outwardly expressed a desire to replace it with a battery-powered alternative in the past.
“That’s certainly something the President has talked about and is an objective for him,” Psaki revealed.
The current Cadillac presidential limousine was introduced under the Trump Administration’s tenure and replaced the Cadillac state car that was active from 2009 to 2018. It’s believed to be powered by a Duramax diesel engine that is closely related to the 6.6L L5P V8 found in GM’s full-size trucks like the Chevy Silverado HD. A diesel engine was allegedly selected as diesel fuel is widely available in almost all countries around the world and is not as volatile as gasoline. The diesel engine is also reliable and has plenty of low-end torque to motivate the immensely heavy limo, which is rumored to weigh over 20,000 lbs.
Since the current Cadillac presidential limousine is a diesel, it’s not possible for it to be converted into an EV. GM mostly likely has the capability to build Biden a new battery-powered version, however, which could utilize its new Ulitum lithium battery system and Ultium Drive electric motors. A high-performance electric powertrain would theoretically have plenty of torque to get The Beast up to speed, though it would also need plenty of electric range in case of emergency situations.
The president has also expressed a desire in the past to electrify the entire federal vehicle fleet, which consists of over 645,000 cars, trucks, crossovers and SUVs. Biden hinted at this goal while on the campaign trail last year, saying his administration would “make a major federal commitment to purchase clean vehicles for federal, state, tribal, postal, and local fleets.” Experts predict that electrifying the entire federal fleet would cost around $20 billion USD.