McCain Offers $300M Prize in Assault on Car Batteries

Republican calls energy security 'the great national challenge of our time'
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 23, 2008 3:24 PM CDT
Holding an early generation mobile cell phone, Republican presidential contender Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., talks about the rapid progress of American technology.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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(Newser) – John McCain today offered a $300 million reward to the American who builds “a battery package that has the size, capacity, cost and power to leapfrog the commercially available plug-in hybrids or electric cars.” He said government had wasted energy money on special interests and failed to punish manufacturers who ignore or abuse fuel efficiency standards, the Hill reports.

“From now on,” the Republican presidential candidate said, “we will encourage heroic efforts in engineering, and we will reward the greatest success.” He also said "penalties are too small to encourage innovation" by automakers, promising stricter punishment while adding tax incentives for zero-emission vehicles.