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. Bulldog

    Do a google search on Enron loophole, EEStor, federal land leased to oil companies. If you do your homework you will see just how much of a con man John McCon really is.

    June 23, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  2. Word on the street

    OK. Now define the word 'better'...

    Better color, Better space untilization, 'better' long lasting, better power reccyling, better..?

    Wish these politicians has some clue of engineering development...

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

    Similar to the " X " prize. Not a bad idea.

    The Dem's are just upset because their guy didn't think of it. And they are supposed to be the ones driving alternative fuels. Hah.

    June 23, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  4. Pete

    The technology is already there for EV's. The Tesla Roadster although ridiculously priced has a range of ~220 miles per charge. It does 0-60 in under 4 seconds and has a top speed of around ~140. The only reason this technology hasn't been introduced to the mainstream is because of one factor. Big Oil. They control our government and the auto industry. We really need to stop being so dependent on oil now, as in tomorrow the 24th of June. No drilling, no ANWR, no Gulf Coast. It just amazes me how so few Americans really see the bigger picture. We are being held back and it's just disgusting. We really need a change.

    June 23, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  5. Lolerskates

    Its a taxpayer paid bribe. These technologies could have been developed long ago and those in possession of the ability to make them a reality right now are beholden to the oil companies.

    This means that if somebody claims this, taxpayer paid, 300 million dollar prize it will be the oil companies.

    Sounds kind of like "come on, we really need those technologies now, we'll give you 300 million" and the oil companies will take our money, then make this new battery capable of the bare minimum asked for, so as to keep oil still on top.

    Its a horrible scam.

    June 23, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  6. amber

    This was already done. Hasn't anyone seen "Who Killed the Electric Car"? GE (under Saturn brand) had several EV1 vehicles on the road back in the late 90s.

    June 23, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  7. Sam

    This is yet another example of McCain thinking INSIDE the box. Batteries have to be charged. Electricity is generated in this country mostly by petroleum and coal. Even if the car is a hybrid car, the battery is charged in part by the gasoline. Electric cars are clean in the area around the car, but that electricity they use was generated at at a big, dirty power plant. If McCain thinks this is an innovative new way to do things he's really got to do some reading. Let's try to think of developing NEW energy sources. Hydrogen isn't it. It takes electricity to crack water into hydrogen and oxygen. How about fuel cells? How about more extensive public transportation systems (very efficient compared to cars). And where are those flying belts we were always promised? haha..

    In regard to new drilling, we cannot drill our way to cheaper gas prices.
    There are numerous oil fields currently waiting for the drill that the oil companies are not drilling in. Drill there first. BUT, we should start thinking carefully about drilling offshore and in the upper reaches of the globe. It will take YEARS to develop those areas, and by the time they're ready for the drill, we'll be needing the oil (unless we can come up with a better fuel than petroleum).

    June 23, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |

    Obama has the real culprits behind the rise in gas prices in his sights. HE GOING AFTER THE OIL SPECULATORS WHO HAVE BEEN TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THE ENRON LOOPHOLE.

    GO GET EM OBAMA.....


    June 23, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  9. Hyperion

    For a guy who can't raise enough money to fund his campaign he sure likes to throw around talk of dollars.....what a fool.

    Obama 08

    June 23, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  10. disgusted

    I think that is a great idea... incentive, is that so bad?

    I am liking McCain more and more now that I don't have my Hill as the first choice.

    PUMA – let's make it happen Hillary supporters.

    June 23, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  11. Carol, San Luis Obispo, CA

    In 1998 our government office drove a Toyota RAV EV. Saturn, Honda, Toyota and others had Electric Vehicles. Our Toyota RAV was pure Electric Vehicle: ran on batteries.

    McCain is about 10 years behind the curve.

    June 23, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  12. Eric

    It's already been invented the cost is the problem. I guy from MIT figured out how to use silicon nano technology to get 10x more storage out of lithium batteries announced back in December.

    June 23, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  13. Democraps

    The 300 miliion will come from all the taxes Osama plans on raising..... You people need to watch th enews and quit listening to speeches

    June 23, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  14. SHAME ON YOU!!!!!!!

    baljeet..............Obama is like a used car salesman he can sell it but doesn't know how to fix it. At least Mccain has a plan........concentrate on the real issues and realised that McBush has no energy policy that will help us right now .........KEEP YOUR EYES ON MCSAME NOT THE PRIZE ........... JUST A DEAL Already in the making.........HE need to fix that old hog JAW !!!!!!

    June 23, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  15. insanity

    This is a stupid scam. If I discover a silver bullet answer to the energy crisis, why would I give it away for $300 million. I can make billions.
    This scam is for stupid people.

    come on!.. McSame is treating American people like idiots, who are unable to think deeply into an issue. McSame is hoping people will just look at this superficially.

    Vote with Love for America, Vote Obama !

    June 23, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  16. FLORIDA Voter for Obama

    Ok, the General Election Price Is Right Game Show is in full swing...

    "General Motors, Come On Down!!"

    lolol What a dummy.

    June 23, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  17. ROFF

    I would like to see the government have the power that IF<–(big if there) someone has patented a great idea AND is sitting (not using) on it that it becomes available to the public.

    June 23, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  18. Annick, Washington DC

    Poor McCain already has Bandaids all over the head for reportedly hitting his head on the roof of a small car in Canada. What would he look like if he get the 300 million dollars car he is requesting for? A walking mummy?

    June 23, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  19. Sue

    Stupid, stupid, stupid.

    June 23, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  20. Mike - Iowa

    Once again Obama supporters can do nothing but complain. At least McCain has ideas about getting us off foreign oil. Obama says no to more drilling anywhere. So what are his bright ideas to get us off foregin oil? Don't have any?! Go figure.

    We used to be a country that was proud to be #1, we are #3 in oil production but #1 in usage. Why not be #1 in oil production, #1 in renewables, #1 in nuclear, #1 in solar?! To get this done you have to give incentives to companies. I said it before if you want to get off foreign oil we need a "moonshot" by our government.

    Instead all the Obama supporters would rather be #3 or maybe #4 or even #5.

    June 23, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  21. Bulldog

    look up EEStor

    June 23, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  22. Jason

    At least he is offering plans and ideas to get off of oil. Not to mention creating more domestic oil for the long hall. Real easy for you idiots to dismiss a plan that does exactly what you want create quality electric cars as stupid and pandering just because Obama didn't think of it. Proves McCain is more moderate and why this democrat is voting for him instaed of the dreamy wind bag.

    June 23, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  23. CNN loves Hillary

    McSenile is losing it!!

    Auto industry has been sitting on this technology for decades but shelved it when the the country fell in love with gas guzzling SUVs.

    I guess McBush has just given the auto industry a 300 million dollar bonus for nothing!!!

    June 23, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  24. John Lear, Burlington, IA

    Is Cindy going to foot the bill for this joke too? Where is the $300 million going to come from?

    June 23, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  25. Matt, Canoga Park

    Mary in Al, Try not to be so dense and use your brain before you write on forums showing how much of a ignorant fool you are. If a car runs on a battery that can run for a long time then you do not use gas. It's called Alternative Energy, ie something other than gasoline/oil based.

    I may not agree with the 300 million for doing this but I am glad to see a person running for president that wants to push for alternative energy.

    June 23, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
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