More Federal Money Going To Develop Electric Cars

Washington is spending hundreds of millions of additional dollars to develop U.S. hybrid and electric car technologies. The aim is to develop the market so it doesn't become dominated by foreign automakers. GM also announced plans to build its own electric motor, using grant money. Another infusion of government funds is going to a smaller company Tesla Motors.

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ARI SHAPIRO, host:

NPR's business news starts with more money for electric cars.

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SHAPIRO: Washington is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to develop hybrid and electric car technologies here in the U.S. The aim is to develop the market so it doesnt become dominated by foreign automakers.

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

And GM has announced plans to build its own electric motor, using a $100 million government grant. Another infusion of government funds is going to a smaller company: Tesla Motors, which recently announced it will build two electric car manufacturing plants in California. Tesla will use $465 million dollars in government loans.

SHAPIRO: And private money is also going into clean car technology. A California company called Better Place announced yesterday that it received a $350 million investment from a group led by the bank HSBC. Better Place builds networks of charging stations for electric cars.

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