Presidential hopeful Barack Obama has expressed his desire to see America set a goal of having at least one million plug-in electric hybrid vehicles on its roads by 2015 - an arduous goal to achieve in just seven years considering major carmakers are still years away from offering such vehicles for public sale. Obama has also revised his previous hardline approach on energy issues, endorsing for the first time additional oil drilling off both coasts of the U.S., as well as use of oil in the government's Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

Obama made his latest statements at a major address in Lansing, Michigan, where he also proposed a $4 billion federal aid package to facilitate the success of the one million plug-in hybrid goal. He also proposed a new tax incentives program to the tune of $7,000 per vehicle in order to encourage consumers to purchase fuel-efficient cars.

Manufacturers themselves welcomed the proposal, with officials from both Ford and General Motors publicly announcing their approval of the plan's goals and methods, reports The Detroit News. Industry experts, on the other hand, have stated that the goal may be too ambitious to achieve, and that in any case the $4 billion package would be a case of 'too little, too late.'

One of the major hurdles to reaching such a goal is the growing development schedules plug-in hybrid vehicles demand. Ford, for example, has already showcased a plug-in hybrid concept based on its Escape SUV (pictured), but predicts that it will take another five to ten years to have the vehicles in showrooms.