On Monday, President Bush visited three states and promoted alternative energy on the way. As alternatives to oil, Bush promoted battery-powered cars at the stop in Wisconsin and solar power at a later stop in Michigan. He ended the day in Colorado, where some three dozen workers at the federal National Renewable Energy Laboratory were rehired after being laid off soon after Mr. Bush's State of the Union address promoting renewable energy.In Milwaukee, Mr. Bush toured a technology center of Johnson Controls, the world's largest supplier of standard car batteries and a leader in research into new lithium ion batteries for hybrid cars. Afterward, in a speech to Johnson Controls employees, Mr. Bush urged Congress to support an additional $31 million for research into the new batteries, as called for in his 2007 budget. Lithium ion batteries are smaller and more efficient than the current nickel metal hydride batteries used in hybrid cars, although they are still years away from widespread use.
"You've got your car, you pull in, you plug it right into the wall," Bush said, adding that he anticipated a day when cars with lithium ion batteries could go 40 miles on electricity alone. Current hybrid cars use the gasoline engine to charge the onboard battery.
In Auburn Hills, Mich., Mr. Bush toured United Solar Ovonic, a maker of solar panels. "The ultimate goal is to have solar technology on your home, and that home will become a little power-generating unit unto itself," Mr. Bush told reporters afterward.