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  • 03.20.09

Obama to Electric Car Entrepreneurs: Show Us What You’ve Got

The electric car industry got a major boost yesterday when President Barack Obama visited the Southern California Edison electric car plant in Pomona, CA and announced $2.4 billion in funding for next generation electric vehicles, including batteries, electric motors, and electric infrastructure concepts.

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The electric car industry got a major boost yesterday when President Barack Obama visited the Southern California Edison electric car plant in Pomona, CA and announced $2.4 billion in funding for next generation electric vehicles, including batteries, electric motors, and electric infrastructure concepts. Obama also guaranteed a tax credit of $7,500 for the purchase of said vehicles in the hopes of putting 1 million hybrid electric vehicles on the road by 2015. In other words: EV manufacturers, start your engines.

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While the SoCal Edison plant is one of two test sites approved by the Department of Energy to research electric car performance, it is by no means a shoo-in for government cash. 

“Show us that your idea or your company is best-suited to meet America’s
challenges, and we will give you a chance to prove it. And just because
I’m here today doesn’t exempt all of you from that challenge — every
company that wants a shot at these tax dollars has to prove their worth,” said Obama.

Larger companies may have the advantage, but Obama’s speech makes it clear that start-ups like ZENN, ZAP, Fisker Automotive, and Th!nk can get stimulus funding too.

[Via US Department of Energy]

About the author

Ariel Schwartz is a Senior Editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine and more.

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