Obama on the Record: Edison Electric Vehicle Center

develop technologies like wind power and solar power, advanced biofuels, clean coal, and fuel-efficient cars and trucks that are built right here in the United States of America. (Applause.)

We will soon lay down thousands of miles of power lines that can create new energy in cities and towns across this country. And we will put Americans to work making homes and buildings more efficient so that we can save billions of dollars on our energy bill, just like you’ve done in California for decades. And we will put 1 million plug-in hybrid vehicles on America’s roads by 2015. (Applause.) That’s where we’re going to focus on.

Now, because these cars of tomorrow require batteries of tomorrow, I’m announcing that the Department of Energy is launching a $2 billion competitive grant program under the Recovery Act that will spark the manufacturing of the batteries and parts that run these cars — (applause); that will allow for the upgrading of factories that will produce them, and in the process, create thousands of jobs in facilities like this one — all across America.

Show us that your idea or your company is best suited to meet America’s challenges, and we will give you the 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 is going to have to prove their worth. So, Lavon, you’re going to have to work hard. (Laughter.)

We’re also making a $400 million down payment on the infrastructure necessary to get these cars on the road. And because these cars won’t leave the showroom unless consumers buy them, the Recovery Act includes a new tax credit of $7,500 to encourage Americans to plug one in at home. (Applause.)

Now, true to form, true to form, California has already forged ahead with its own plans rather than wait for Washington. It’s fitting that the state home to the first freeway and the first gas station is already at work devising the next freeway and the next gas station. This “green freeway” you’re planning with Oregon and Washington would link your states with a network of rest stops that allow you to do more than just grab a cup of coffee, but also charge your car, refuel it with hydrogen or biofuels, swap out a battery in the time it takes to fill a gas tank. Charging stations have begun to pop up — pop up around downtown San Francisco, and that city has just joined with San José and Oakland with the vision of becoming the “electric vehicle capital of the United States.”

And here at Southern California Edison, and all across the country, in factories and laboratories, at the Big Three and at small startups, these innovations are taking place right now. In Michigan, and Ohio, and right here in California, we’re seeing exciting developments in this field as hardworking men and women like you are already laying the groundwork for this new industry. Even as our

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