Presidential hopeful John McCain proposes $300M battery development grant

The biggest hurdle in the way of mass production of plug-in hybrids and other forms of electric transportation is the current state of battery technology. But Presidential hopeful John McCain is banking that a cash incentive will speed up battery development.

The Arizona senator is slated to propose a $300 million government grant for anyone that can speed the development of battery technology. McCain outlined that the new technology should deliver the same power at a third of current costs and have "the size, capacity, cost and power to leapfrog the commercially available plug-in hybrids or electric cars," according to the AP.

The grant would be funded by tax dollars, but at about a $1 per U.S. citizen, McCain says it's "a small price to pay for helping to break the back of our oil dependency."

In addition to the proposed grant, McCain also wants to see stiffer penalties for automakers that don't comply with fuel economy standards and wants to created bigger incentives for domestic and foreign alcohol-based fuels.

McCain's automotive plans also call for a Clean Car Challenge that would give U.S. automakers $5,000 for every zero-emissions car they develop and sell.