At his first stop, the president announced $2.4 billion is stimulus funds meant to encourage the production of next generation plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and advanced battery components for such vehicles.
"Show us that your idea or your company is best-suited to meet America's challenges, and we will give you a chance to prove it," the president said.
Later in the day, at a town hall appearance in Los Angeles with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mr. Obama said improving education takes more than just money.
"you can't just be talking more money, more money without also talking about, how are we going to reform and make the system better," he said, adding that work had to be done to improve teacher performance.
After the town hall, the president taped an appearance on Jay Leno's "Tonight Show."
Check out Chip Reid's CBS Evening News report on the president's day below.