John McCain Offers Inventor $300m of Your Hard-Earned for New PHEV Battery

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
john mccain offers inventor 300m of your hard earned for new phev battery

John McCain's initial proposal to alleviate pain at the pump: a summer gas tax holiday. With "option A" laughed off the table, the Wall Street Journal reports that McNasty wants a buck from every [documented] American to fund a $300m prize for a killa battery. The money would go to anyone who develops battery technology that can deliver power at 30 percent of current costs. Oh, and it has to have "the size, capacity, cost and power to leapfrog the commercially available plug-in hybrids or electric cars." Apparently, "from now on, we will encourage heroic efforts in engineering, and we will reward the greatest success." Meanwhile, the Arizona senator suggests toughening fines for CAFE violators, increasing ethanol "incentives" and offering U.S. automakers a $5k tax credit for every zero-carbon emissions car they sell. McCain called current incentives "the handiwork of lobbyists, with all the inconsistency and irrationality that involves." As all of his proposed incentives are offered to automakers (American automakers, at that) rather than consumers, should we expect them to exhibit the same inefficiencies that McCain is railing against? Yes, we should.

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  • Rtz Rtz on Jun 23, 2008

    "The money would go to anyone who develops battery technology that can deliver power at 30 percent of current costs" If I owned a Chinese lithium company; I'd say "you want 30% off? Fine, take it." And get 300 million as a result?

  • Qwerty Qwerty on Jun 23, 2008

    The $300 mil is chump change compared to what a John "We'll stay in Iraq until we can get out with honor" McCain will spend in Iraq. We're running around $500 million a day right now. The long term and indirect costs are higher than that. I'd much rather spend the $$ on R&D that could promote economic growth than on useless wars that are damaging the economy. An incentive for battery research is a waste because right now there is a huge economic motivation for battery development. The free market will work well here. There will be a large payout for anyone who radically improves battery technology, and firms all over the world are working hard on the problem. Spending the money ten or twenty years ago might have made sense. The government would be better off spending the money in areas where private industry cannot or is unlikely to research or build, like nuclear fuel reprocessing, public transporation, fusion research, fourth generation nuclear reactor design and construction, thorium reactors, etc. Build the infrastructure that the country will need when gas goes past $10/gal and we are all driving lightweight electric cars made from composite materials.

  • on Jun 23, 2008

    It's idiotic. if you come out with a new better battery 300 million is a drop in the bucket. Like nobody is trying to invent a better battery and make the billions in profits. This year the choice is vote for the Democrat or the Democrat. The Democrat will win.

  • Nudave Nudave on Jun 24, 2008

    ...further proof that Alzheimer's Disease doesn't just "happen" one day, but rather, develops over a period of many years.