President Obama wants the U.S. to invest in building electric cars, he said Wednesday as he unveiled his national campaign for the alternative transportation.
"See, I don't want to just reduce our dependence on foreign oil and then end up being dependent on their foreign innovations," Obama said. "I don't want to have to import a hybrid car. I want to be able to build a hybrid car here."
The president said taxpayer grants will encourage electric car manufacturing and create jobs. The price tag is $2.4 billion and funds will come from money set aside in the Congress approved $787 billion stimulus program.
The president spoke near the border of Michigan and Indiana-- the two states that would benefit most from the electric car program.
"We don't surrender our fates to chance," Obama added. "We have always endured. We have worked hard, and we have fought for our future."
Obama assured that he is dedicated to the plan.
"I'm committed to a strategy that ensures that America leads," Obama said.
Grant recipients include Johnson Controls Inc., of Milwaukee, $299 million; General Motors Co., $241 million; and Ford Motor Co., $92.7 million.
Still, critics say the stimulus plan is not working and that tax payers are not seeing a return on their investment.
Though the economy has shown signs of improvement, President Obama's approval rating has dropped from 58 percent in April to 50 percent in the latest July polls.