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John McCain Offers $300 Million Prize For Better Battery Tech

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Showing that he’s committed (at least on the campaign trail) to transitioning the U.S. towards carbon-free transportation, John McCain is set to announce a “Clean Car Challenge” that would award the amount of $300 million to the developer of new battery technology. Yowzers. In an excerpt of a speech he is expected to give  in Fresno, Calif today, McCain says,

“I further propose we inspire the ingenuity and resolve of the American people by offering a $300 million prize for the development of a battery package that has the size, capacity, cost and power to leapfrog the commercially available plug-in hybrids or electric cars. This is one dollar for every man, woman and child in the U.S. – a small price to pay for helping to break the back of our oil dependency – and should deliver a power source at 30 percent of the current costs.”

Additionally, McCain is also pushing a $5,000 tax credit for any customer that buys a zero-emissions vehicle. That’s certainly a nice chunk, but with current prices well out of the reach of consumers, it won’t put a dent on a fuel-cell or electric car purchase anytime soon. I’m thinking that type of tax-credit will float better after 2012.

Let’s not forget as well that the Republican nominee earned a 0% current rating and 24% lifetime rating from the Sierra Club on environmental issues. Campaign-trail talk? Probably — but intriguing nonetheless to see these issues being brought front and center.

via The NY Times

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