In response to the current subsidies for cars like the Chevy Volt (which cost taxpayers about $250,000 per vehicle) the GOP has proposed a $1,000,000,000 prize for the first automaker to sell 60,000 mid-size sedans that get at least 100mpg. This would actually cost the government significantly less than the current subsidies offered for vehicles with batteries. 

While this may seem like total crazy talk, governments have been offering prizes like this to meet strategic tech goals for centuries. Britain famously offered a large prize to anybody who could figure out a way to keep track of longitude at sea.

[via The Hill]