Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has slammed Senator John McCain's proposed $300 million prize for the creation of an advanced car battery, calling it a “gimmick” designed to grab attention but offer little aid for the fuel crisis. Despite the latest remark, Obama has already proposed cash incentives in his own scheme for improving fuel economy and reducing carbon emissions but pointed out that his own proposals offer a more realistic solution.

Obama differentiated his own fuel economy policy from McCain's by his focus on immediate action. "I have a plan to raise the fuel standards in our cars and trucks with technology we have on the shelf today," Obama told reporters in Michigan. One of the democrat senator’s proposals includes a doubling of fleet fuel-economy requirements by 2027 to 50mpg.

Obama also likened the current fuel crisis to the race to land on the moon - a goal that cannot be realized by a prize for one company or individual to create an advanced battery. Its solution requires the entire effort of the nation and the full resources of the government, he explained.

The democrat senator now plans to meet with auto executives and factory workers, including Ford CEO Alan Mulally later today and GM chief Rick Wagoner on Thursday, reports The Detroit News.