Jul 18, 2010

Americans not charged by the Obama battery story

Struggling to connect with voters on the economy, Obama chose an unlikely hero as the star of his narrative of redemption and recovery: the battery.

Obama flew to Holland, Michigan to celebrate the groundbreaking of an advanced car battery factory that the White House predicts will produce 300 permanent jobs. It was his fourth battery-related trip as president, and it came as the White House makes an aggressive push to tell what one senior official called "the battery story" -- the tale of a small piece of technology that could affect daily life and spur employment if properly nurtured.

The administration's $2.4 billion, yes Billion, investment in the development of batteries and other electric-car technology in the United States is an enormous bet on a product that has yet to gain broad commercial success.

Major manufacturers have yet to sell electric cars in the United States. Hybrids, though they have been around for a decade, represent less than 1 percent of the nation's roughly 250 million-vehicle fleet.

More here.