June 23rd, 2008
11:45 AM ET
14 years ago

McCain plan: $300 million prize for better car battery

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/06/23/campaign.wrap/art.car.gi.jpg caption=" Sen. John McCain wants someone to develop a battery that can "leapfrog" those available in current electric cars."](CNN) - Sen. John McCain is expected Monday to call for a $300 million prize for innovation that would help the U.S. decrease its reliance on oil, a day after his rival for the presidency called for greater oversight for energy traders.

Oil and energy are expected to be on the agenda as McCain campaigns in California and Sen. Barack Obama speaks in New Mexico on Monday.

WATCH John McCain's $300 million incentive

McCain, during a town hall-style meeting at Fresno State University, is expected to propose a $300 million prize for whoever can develop an automobile battery that "has the size, capacity, cost and power to leapfrog the commercially available plug-in hybrids or electric cars."

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Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (166 Responses)
  1. Steve

    Mary in AL: Think in terms of pure electric, plug in hybrid or hybrid cars. If you run on pure electric (no on board charging ability), current battery range can reach about 200 miles. Average full charging time is probably about 3 hours. To make pure electric feasible for more than just commuting, batteries need to have more along the lines of a 500 mile range, and charge in less than 30 minutes.

    You probably could load up a vehicle with enough lithium ion batteries to get the range, but the cost and weight makes it economically unrealistic.

    You're more likely to have battery technology evolve in a faster time than it would take to see any results come in from allowing more offshore drilling. So already manufactured hybrids and electric cars would simply need to upgrade their battery packs.

    So in addition to this, give auto manufacturers incentives to produce these types of vehicles (tax breaks, etc), and to consumers (a nice tax credit...$3-5000).

    June 23, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  2. Bulldog

    A company call EEStor already has developed McCain's "better car battery" which will go 250 miles on one full charge and only take 5 minutes to recharge. Does McCain know someone at EEStor which is based in Texas. Zenn motors has already tested this battery (super capicitor) in it's electric car and Lockheed Martin has already signed a distribution contract for the military. Who is McCain fooling and why is CNN and other MSMs not exposing McCain on this ploy? Please take some time and goolgle this for yourselves. It's plain as day. John McCain is once again proving he is a con man just like his offshore oil drilling and his support for the "Enron loophole". He needs to wash his dirty hands......their full of oil!!!!

    June 23, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  3. wycliffe, NJ

    stop this fool from taking the white house. what does a battery do with the ailing econmy or the rising gas . Stop pandering to voters Mr. Mcsame.

    June 23, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    Ya know, I posted almost this exact same idea earlier this month on these blogs. I called it the "G-Prize", after the "X-Prize". I had suggested 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place awards, too.

    Good Idea! John has impressed me today.

    June 23, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  5. D

    This really isn't a bad idea, the American spirit is supposed to be about innovation and creativity... this is just an encouragement to get people out there trying. Will it work? Who knows, maybe... maybe not. But it's interesting to see someone proposing LONG-TERM SOLUTIONS. obama's camp seems to only see what is in FRONT of them – short-term solutions. This country needs people to be FORWARD-thinking... not merely concerned with their 'four years'.

    June 23, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  6. Chris

    This must be a joke, John, right!? The free market already provides ample incentive for innovation and development. Any individual or company that perfected such a device would reap far more than $300 million in profits from the free market, as customers would line up in droves to buy it. What do you think companies like Toyota are in the business of actually doing?

    And where's this $300 million coming from? Oh that's right...Chinese bankers. >_<

    Ron Paul Revolution 😀

    June 23, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  7. Bulldog

    Con Con Con Con Con. Look up EEStor. John McCain cannot take credit for their battery that has been developed for almost a year already. John McCain knows about this and this is just a ploy for him to take some credit. Do your homework.

    June 23, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  8. Reality Check Richmond Virginia

    I am loosing more and more respect for McCain everyday. He seems to have sold his soul to the right wingers.

    June 23, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  9. Chris

    Big oil makes 40+ billion... they should be offering a 1 Billion prize

    $300 million is pocket change – R&D costs can be much greater than 300m

    June 23, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  10. Bulldog

    Do an internet search on EEStor. They have already developed this "better car battery" and should be marketed sometime this year. Who is McCain trying to fool?

    June 23, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  11. Vote Nader

    I have officially decided that Sen. Obama supporters can not fully analyze issues. They simply find out who proposed it and react either one of two ways. While not shocking based on the demographics, I had hoped by now they would have learned this important trait of being a voter.


    ** Nader/Gonzalez 2008 **

    June 23, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  12. Xavier, Saint Louis, MO

    Sounds to me like McCain is waiting to see what move Obama is going to make, before he makes his move. Please McCain, get original with your ideas.

    Also, the United States can make a car go 200 miles on a gallon if we wanted to. If we can make a missile (ICBM) leave it's silo and hit Moscow or any other place on this earth, we definitely can make a car go 100 to 200 miles a gallon. But when we have "Oil Tycoon" presidents like Bush, we chose not to.

    June 23, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  13. Alice in Florida

    Why wasn't Barack at the town hall meeting with McCain? Oh, that's right – he's scared to death to speak without a teleprompter!

    I can't wait to see the fool stumble and bumble and mumble his way through debates with John McCain. Or maybe he'll just decide that debates are unecessary or a racist plot and run away and hide just like he did with Hillary.


    June 23, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  14. Greg Pottstown, Pa.

    yeah! it is so dumb to try to power a car without gas. Listen to your selves you sound like the big oil company's.McCain's plans are the fastest to effect the oil market but you are still not for them. Obama's plans don't take affect on the market until 2030 at best . Is that the change you want to see. If the USA started to drill Offshore when the Clinton's were in office, today you would not be paying $4 a gallon. But I guess its all bushes fault.

    June 23, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  15. Be Fair

    I don't understand why all the Obama people oppose this idea – maybe they feel threatened? This is acuatlly a great way to spur innovation. Remember the success of the Ansari X prize for the first sub-orbital flight? This strategy works! It's better than an over-bloated government bureucracy trying to do the innovation...

    June 23, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  16. deliseo-hartford, ct

    Last time I checked the barrel of oil was at well over $135. Neither one of these guys are going to be a miracle worker. Let's face that! I do want a new change and I'm not going to fall for any old politics.
    I want someone willing to under we have a $9 trillion
    debit in our hands and to take care of that first instead of
    gimmicking America with ancient ideas.

    June 23, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  17. Blame Bush

    This is a great idea by Obama! What? It's McCain's? On second thought, it's horrible. Probably got the idea from Bush.

    June 23, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  18. Robert in Toronto,ON

    A $300 million dollar prize for a better innovation to reduce oil? Hahaha – this ain't Prize Is Right John, and you certainly are not Bob Barker.

    They'll make a cartoon of McCain called "Kung Fu Panderer"

    June 23, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  19. Generation X

    Democrats remember Operation Chaos = PUMA (Poor uneducated miserable adults).

    Most of these bloggers are not Hillary supporters but the GOP and a very small amount of disappointed Clinton supporters that would have never voted for Obama. We true Democrats will unite and restore some honesty to the White House.

    June 23, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  20. James from NYC

    Sure we want independence from oil but we won't ever get it if all of the people making the laws are oil tycoons! Am I truly the only one who sees this?
    More money spent on war means less for legitimate research on alternative fuels which in turn leads to a higher gas crisis. In the end this all equals more profit for oil companies and those connected in Washington DC!
    If I only had one wish I would want a time machine and the chance at Halliburton stock!
    Go McBush!

    June 23, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  21. Amy

    One word. IDIOT

    June 23, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  22. Sharon Minnesota

    Incentive!! It works for normal people. Too bad some Democrats want the government to hand everything to them. Hard work and innovation should be rewarded!

    June 23, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  23. Bill, Streamwood, IL

    Nice idea, but I'd give it more credence if the good Senator put a substantial part of his wife's money behind it.

    June 23, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  24. ANGIE

    mccain your an idiot and you would make a horrible horrible president even worse than bush please people wake up listen to this man he is cluless instead having the right policies to help with our energy and gas crisis hes just throwing around his rich wifes money all because he dosent have a clue GOD PLEASE BLESS AMERICA REAL HARD IF THIS MAN BECOMES PRESIDENT WE ARE GONNA NEED IT!!!

    June 23, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  25. Bulldog

    McCain's hands are dirty with oil. He has advisors who are connected with big oil and Enron. His top ecomomic advisor pushed legislation for the Enron loophole that allowed Enron to manipulate energy prices which caused blackouts and so many people to lose their life savings. This same legislation is THE major reason for our extreme oil and gas prices. Look it up for yourself. This Enron loophole allows corrupt traders to trade futures commodites oversees unregulated in order to run up prices and John McCain supports this. He is a con man and is no better, if not worse, than George Bush and Dick Cheney in this regard. Now he wants to ACT like he cares while he has supported the Enron loophole and continues to do so.

    June 23, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
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