So, how's the mileage on your Cadillac limo, Mr. President? (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
President Obama stopped by Southern California Edison's electric vehicle garage in Pomona Thursday to promote his plan to fund $2.4 billion in federal grants for the development of plug-in hybrid vehicles.
"It's always nice to get out of Washington a little bit -- recharge your batteries," Obama said.
Obama, who famously traded his Hemi Chrysler 300C for a 2008 Ford Escape Hybrid to appear green-friendly at the start of his presidential bid, is shown above next to a plug-in prototype of his compact SUV. Ford has tested vehicles at the Edison facility — which includes fast chargers, battery labs, fuel cells and a fleet of almost 300 electric cars — since 2007, but won't roll out plug-in hybrids until 2012.
A dedicated electric version of the Transit Connect van will arrive next year as a 2011 model with a claimed 100-mile range. During a presentation in Brookline Wednesday, the company said it would sell "at least four more battery electrified vehicles" by 2012.
According to the White House and a Boston Globe report today, the funds include a maximum $1.5 billion for US battery manufacturers, $500 million for component manufacturers, and $400 million for testing purposes. Plug-in hybrid buyers should also be eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit, but there's no word if a production limit will reduce that amount, as is current IRS practice for hybrid vehicles.
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