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.
About Boston Overdrive
|Clifford Atiyeh is an automotive writer and car enthusiast . He has spent his entire life driving cars he doesn't own.
In the garage: 1995 21-speed Iron Horse, 2002 Jeep Wrangler X (by association)
|Bill Griffith is a veteran Boston Globe reporter, having reviewed cars for more than 10 years and serving as assistant sports editor for 25 years. He was also the paper's sports media columnist.
In the garage: 2006 Subaru Baja
|John Paul is public affairs manager for AAA Southern New England, a certified mechanic, and a Globe columnist. He hosts a weekly radio show on WROL.
In the garage: Hyundai Sante Fe, Chrysler PT Cruiser convertible
|Craig Fitzgerald has been writing about cars, motorcycles, and the automotive industry since 1999. He is the former editor of Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car.
In the garage: 1968 Buick Riviera, 1996 Buick Roadmaster, 1974 Honda CB450
|Keith Griffin is president of the New England Motor Press Association and edits the used car section on About.com. He also writes for the Hartford Business Journal and various weekly newspapers in Connecticut.
In the garage: Mazda 5, Dodge Neon
|George Kennedy is a senior writer for WheelsTV in Acton, which produces video reviews for Yahoo, MSN, and other auto websites.
In the garage: Lifted 1999 Jeep Cherokee