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. Jason

    Get educated he has as much money on hand as your candidate.

    June 23, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  2. I used to be a Democrat

    It is clear that McCain is the only Presidential candiate willing to go the extra mile for energy independence.

    All these Obamanazis are insane. Obama has not policy, except to raise taxes on gas.

    June 23, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    A lot of negative responses to this idea. My similar idea had been to award prizes based upon actual production numbers. McCain wants to provide incentives to purchasers.

    This is a good idea because it provides the major auto manufacturers with a carrot to chase. I had said to make the pot much bigger. Have 200-300 miles between recharges, pretty much what you get from a tank of gas on average city/highway.

    This is a good idea because a few hundred million is a drop in the bucket compared to continued dependency on foreign oil. Why not offer a carrot to motivate R&D?

    June 23, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  4. Billy J in the Heart of Texas

    The battery is what is stopping us from having all kinds of energy options. This is a good idea BUT! The Clintons had it first. I saw Bill Clinton talking about the very same thing in the context of an apollo type push, involving private citizens and companies , govt, universities just a month ago. The Clintons were talking about this WAAAY before McCain or Obama were even acting like they care (which they don't)

    June 23, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  5. Jason

    Battery power that is 30% cheaper and lasts longer what an AWFUL idea. Only cuz Obama didn't float it. Lefties are a joke you can't poo poo something you have been screaming for for ten years.

    June 23, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  6. Ron L

    Once again a DUMB idea to make it APPEAR he gives a DARN about alternative ways to power a car. Where is the $300 million coming from. It would be better to give people a sustantial tax credit (20% to 30% when they buy certain types of cars to offset their extra purchasing cost.





    June 23, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  7. Peter

    And the company that would develop this battery did it because they could not see that the value of the product would far exceed $300MM in profit???
    I can see the proposals coming in now from all the folks withot engineering or scientific training of any sort, that utilize $1000 in Home Depot equipment to see their dream of a $300MM payday happen!
    Talking about insulting intelligence! Will these politicans please stop pandering!!!

    June 23, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  8. Jon

    All you obama lovers are being fool by fast eddie a slick chicago politican who is a super ball bouncing off the wall on every issue. But hey if he wins allof us will be the fools who suffer for his self centered, racist, additude. But I think that in November more than half the country will have seen enough of this con artist to say do I really want him to be president, NO.

    June 23, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  9. Jason Pasqua

    A $300 million government incentive? Wait a minute...I thought all solutions to all problems came from the free market? Isn't that Republican 101?

    John, what we have to do here is let the free, fair and infallible maket fix this problem. In a free market no one could ever prevent new products from reaching the public. Right? Right? I mean, it's not like the energy companies have a MONOPOLY here. I'm sure they're very interested in not charging us $4.50 a gallon for the rest of our lives.

    Government can't solve problems, John. Government IS the problem. St. Reagan said so.

    June 23, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |

    To Unions Are Not Stupid; I agree with you on firing McCains campaign staff, what in the world are they thinking. I am absolutely convinced that his crew is secretly setting him up for failure, there is no way that they could seriously be trying to get him elected...Obama 08! We are looking good, I cannot wait to see Obama interact with other smart world leaders .....

    June 23, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  11. Bill from Oklahoma

    For a man that believes so much in the free enterprise system, he certainly throws around tax payers money around freely. Especially, if a battery like this is invented, it will be worth more than 300 million.

    I still wonder if this was such a good idea , why would he wait for he general election for this political gimick.

    June 23, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  12. J Kirkbride

    Who exactly is going to pay this $300 million prize?

    June 23, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  13. texas dem

    Wow! I mean wow! Is McCain a little slow. I'm not concerned about where the $300million will come from. I'm certain that between his in-laws and Halliburton, it'll pop up rather quickly giving them the patents and rights to the design or and even more profits. What really worries me is that i don't think he gets that the subsidy for ethanol made with corn goes to US farmers where the tax on sugar can ethanol comes from person outside the US. I'll make it simple money staying in US good. Money going out of US bad.

    June 23, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  14. David from Ohio

    Now it's confirmed that the Republican Party has run out of ideas. Yet 40% of voters support this guy in the polls. Amazing....then again 29% think Bush has been a good president.

    June 23, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  15. What?

    Sounds like another tax increase. They are making promises with our tax money just to get your vote. I'm voting Ron Paul

    June 23, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  16. American Me

    This candidacy is a joke-

    I can see why even republicans don't like him

    Is he competing with Dubya for the coveted "Worlds Biggest Idiot" Award?

    June 23, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  17. Ian

    Apparently he should invest in a car with a taller roof. Haha.

    June 23, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  18. Still voting for Hilary

    Take the 300 million out of the public financing Obama isnt going to use now! Wheres that money going now? Obama is a lier. 300 million is a drop in the bucket, we have people driving to Mexico for Gas!!!! Hello out there...

    June 23, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  19. Foreign observer

    So this is leadership ? States are allowed to drill irrespective of possible environmental desasters but they also can spent the money on atomic power or clean energy or whatever... so it´s a matter where McCain in fact has no clue about what is important and there is no plan giving the states a direction.

    June 23, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  20. Ian

    We can borrow the money from China.

    June 23, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  21. joe schmoe

    Hello EV-1 anyone? This battery has been created, and it was shut down fast. To those who'd like to find out more, check out "Who Killed the Electric Car". If GM wants get back into the car making business again, then perhaps they ought to find a way to bring back the EV-1. and Honda can add to it's hybrids, the RAV-4E (also all electric, and very popular with the few people who were able to have one for a short while). McCain needs to stop throwing our money away, as well our rights to clean air/ water. If offshore drilling is such a great idea, let's start with Kennebuckport.

    June 23, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  22. snaz


    June 23, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  23. Jo Ann

    Where is the money comming from another blank check
    this really shows that McCain is over the hill and need to be
    in Arizona in his rocker.

    June 23, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  24. Foreign observer

    300 millions bucks – so every American pays one dollar to poor companies like General Motors, Ford an so on.

    June 23, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  25. Ian

    So what you're saying is that I'll only have to ride my bike for another 20 years?

    June 23, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
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