McCain proposes $300 million car battery contest

Presumed Republican presidential nominee John McCain on Monday proposed a $300 million prize to develop a car battery that will “leapfrog” today’s plug-in hybrids.

In an energy policy speech at Fresno State University in California, McCain also called for an overhaul to existing policies that favor domestic ethanol production–one of the biggest differences he has with his expected opponent, Senator Barack Obama.

McCain said that, if elected, his administration would issue a Clean Car Challenge which would give give a $5,000 tax credit to people who purchase “zero-emissions cars.”

There would be a sliding scale so that vehicles, regardless of type, with lower carbon dioxide emissions will have larger tax credits.

His $300 million car battery prize is meant to spur creativity among automakers to make energy-efficient products.

“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,” he said.

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