07/01/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

McCain Calls For Better Electric Car Battery, Proposes $300 Million Bounty

Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain proposed a $300 million reward for anyone who can design a more efficient electric car battery. He also said that, if elected, he would support a $5,000 tax credit to automakers who sold zero-emissions cars -- per car sold.

Grist's Kate Sheppard reported that McCain took a shot at opponent Senator Barack Obama's support of ethanol in the same breath:

McCain's criticism of ethanol policy comes on the same day that The New York Times published a critique of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's relationship to corn ethanol, an issue that McCain has been playing up as a difference between him and his opponent. As a senator from the country's second-largest corn-producing state, Obama has been a supporter of corn ethanol as an alternative fuel. Obama has said that corn ethanol "ultimately helps our national security, because right now we're sending billions of dollars to some of the most hostile nations on earth."

McCain's $300 million battery prize is met with skepticism by environmentalists, including CimateProgress:

POINTLESS: First off, every energy and car company on the planet knows they'll get rich by improving batteries. The world is probably spending $1 billion a year in this quest. This $300 million prize is a pointless gimmick, just a cynical move to get some good PR.