President Biden is reportedly interested in electrifying the presidential limousine. The latest iteration of “The Beast,” as the limo is commonly called, was delivered in 2018 and first put into service by then-President Donald Trump.
An electric beast? On AF1, WH press secretary Jen Psaki was asked if President Biden will electrify the WH vehicle fleet, including the presidential limo known as “the Beast.” She said: “That’s certainly something the President has talked about and is an objective for him.”
— Eamon Javers (@EamonJavers)
May 18, 2021
According to the above tweet (spotted by Car and Driver), Biden administration press secretary Jen Psaki was asked after the president’s visit to Michigan on Tuesday whether he would seek to electrify the White House vehicle fleet — limo included. Psaki said the president considers it “an objective.”
If so, it would certainly not be a short-term one, especially when it comes to The Beast itself. Presidential limousines typically have long service lives. The presidential limousines replaced in 2018 had been in service since 2009, for example. Even in the unlikely event that the president calls for immediate bids on a contract to build an electrified presidential limousine, the chances that it would be completed before the end of his term(s) in office are virtually zero.
Though it is badged as a Cadillac, the current limo is thought to be built on what is essentially a heavily modified heavy-duty GM truck platform built to support the weight of the heavily armored (and environmentally sealed) body designed to keep the president safe in the event of a direct assault. The Beast’s powertrain would have to be rated to withstand such an attack, which would likely be a challenge for a battery-electric vehicle, as the pack would have to be protected even more thoroughly (and by different means) than the self-sealing fuel tanks likely in use in the current Beast.