While touring an electric vehicle test facility in Pomona, California, President Barack Obama unveiled a $2.4 billion program aimed at jump starting the electric vehicle and plug-in electric industry to make the U.S. a leader in developing components and creating production facilities that will be required to put America on a cleaner, greener road to the future.
In his comments, the president stated that: "Because these cars of tomorrow require the batteries of tomorrow, I am announcing that the Department of Energy is launching a $2 billion competitive grant program under the Recovery Act that will spark the manufacturing of the batteries and parts that run these cars, build or upgrade the factories that will produce them, and in the process, create thousands of jobs right here in America." Up to $1.5 billion of those monies would be directed to U.S. manufacturers of batteries with the other $500 million aimed at U.S. producers of motors and other related components.
The president also committed a "$400 million down-payment on the infrastructure necessary to get these cars on the road" and announced a direct consumer incentive in the form of a new $7,500 tax credit under the Recovery Act to entice Americans to purchase one of the new plug-in vehicles when they do finally appear in showrooms. Obama's ambitious initiative calls for having one million plug-ins and EVs on the road in this country by 2015.