$10 Million Prize For First 500 Mile Battery Pack

Some people aren’t as concerned with saving the environment as they are with saving money. Indeed, money is much of the reason why we still don’t have electric cars. In many people’s minds they cost too much for too little range or power. And while we now have cars that can get upwards of 500-600 miles on a tank of gas… electric cars have their work cut out for them.

The big factor holding back electric cars are batteries. The government knows this, and currently there is a bill sitting in Congress called the Electric Drive Vehicle Deployment Act of 2010. Among other provisions, it offers a $10 million award to the first developer to come up with a battery pack that can get 500 miles on a charge.

The Obama administration has already handed out billions of dollars to help fund future forms of transportation. Some may scoff at this “waste” of taxpayer dollars, but that money is without a doubt keeping people at work and preparing the US for an energy constrained future.

There are two different versions of this bill, one in the House and one in the Senate. It is the Senate bill that has the $10 million award. That is a big carrot to dangle in front of would-be battery makers… but one has to ask, is it enough? Automakers around the world have sunk hundreds of millions of dollars into researching battery technology. The most any of them can do in a reasonably sized package at a reasonable price — on electric power only — is about 100 miles.

The Tesla Roadster has a 200 mile range, but a $100,000 price tag. What are the stipulations of this award? Can you make a 500 mile battery that costs $500,000? Does the battery have to last at highway speeds, or can you crawl along at a snail’s pace on a tuned-up electric lawnmower?

What do you guys think. Is this award too much money, not enough…. and will it ever become law?

Source: Green Car Advisor

Christopher DeMorro

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.