In keeping with his administration's objective of rebuilding a healthy US automotive industry that possess advanced technologies, President Obama re-iterated his electoral pledge of having 1 million plug-in electric hybrid vehicles on the roads by 2015.
Part of the plan for getting those cars to US consumers includes an investment of 2 billion US dollars for research and development of battery technology. The program, which is part of the stimulus package passed by Congress and signed into law by Obama, is intended to keep technological development inside the United States and help make the US automotive industry competitive again.
Automakers are skeptical of the plan and think of it as being too ambitious, with Toyota calling it "unrealistic." But Obama, speaking on the plan at an electric car plant in California, said that the program will help keep battery production in the US and create jobs for Americans.
The plan calls for 1.5 billion to go, in the form of grants, to US enterprises developing advanced battery technology. Another 500 million is slated for developers of other hybrid and/or electric car components like electric motors.
The administration will also be spending an additional 400 million dollars to study the infrastructure needs that come with having such a large fleet of electric-powered vehicles on the road. That's just the money needed to look at the issue. One can only imagine how much an upgrading of the electrical grid would cost in order to supply the extra energy that would be required by all those plug-in hybrids and fully-electric vehicles.