John McCain's (R) plan to give the advanced hybrid battery industry a boost sounds promising. I mean, a $300m prize to the company that can deliver a better, cheaper battery? What's not to like? Well, plenty, apparently.
After House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D) criticized McCain's idea yesterday, Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama explained his own objections to the prize money. As reported by the Detroit News, Obama and other Dems said the "game show" strategy wouldn't be strong enough to push automakers to produce the really high-mpg vehicles that are needed (although, the News points out, Obama does support cash prizes in the cellulosic ethanol realm). Obama said it was his across-the-board plan that would do the trick.

Other criticisms that have come into the ABG mailbox include the claim that McCain's plan is "poorly thought out." McCain's aides admit that more details need to be worked out. One alternative would be to not hold the money back until a particular battery can be built, but to offer tax rebates on PHEVs and BEVs that are on the road today, or very close to it.

Photo by transplanted mountaineer Licensed under Creative Commons license 2.0.

[Source: The Detroit News via Autoblog]

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