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Chu promises big battery price cuts, but doesn't say how

The Obama administration continues to push electric vehicles despite the fact that they have sold very poorly around the country. There are number of reasons why consumers haven't adopted electric vehicles in larger numbers, the biggest of which are the cost of the vehicles and range anxiety. The component that adds the most cost to EVs is undoubtedly the battery pack.

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu has announced that the federal government is working to dramatically reduce the cost of battery technology for electric vehicles. Cheaper batteries would mean that automakers could [ideally] sell their EVs and hybrid vehicles that utilize rechargeable battery packs at a lower price.

President Obama wants 1 million plug-in electric vehicles and hybrids on highways around the United States by 2015. Currently, the federal government offers a $7,500 tax credit for people who purchase electric vehicles and Obama has been pushing to increase the tax credit to $10,000.

"It's ambitious, but we'll see what happens," said Chu during a talk with reporters during the Washington Auto Show.

"For the engineers in the room or those who follow this, you might be saying to yourself, 'What are they smoking,'" Chu said about aggressive plans to cut the price of batteries. "We're not smoking anything…. They are ambitious goals but they are achievable goals."

The original report from Washington supporting the goal of 1 million plug-in vehicles on the roads by 2015 expected Ford to sell 20,000 Focus EVs in 2012. Ford sold fewer than 700 of the vehicles and has resorted to significant price cuts to spur demand. Chevrolet also sold only 24,000 Volts in 2012 while the report had predicted 120,000.

Source: Detroit News

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RE: That last paragraph
By Manch on 2/1/2013 11:59:02 AM , Rating: 2

Wishful thinking for this administration is limited to EVs.

RE: That last paragraph
By Mint on 2/1/2013 2:43:43 PM , Rating: 2
You do realize that target is 0.13% of annual ethanol production, right?

Of course you don't, because you don't do any thinking for yourself. Also, it's not a very rigid mandate if production didn't hit the mandated levels last year.

Anyway, cellulosic ethanol is something everyone wants to get going ASAP, because it displaces corn-based ethanol (which is not so bad economically now that it's subsidy-free, but still has some negative side effects).

RE: That last paragraph
By Manch on 2/1/2013 10:30:00 PM , Rating: 2
Listen here dick milk. You're side stepping the point because it doesn't fit into your little world. The point of that link was that this administration has constantly over inflated goals, targets, mandates or whatever to push unfeasible and unrealistic agendas.

you take any criticism as a be all end all rant against anything hybrid, green etc. I have no issue with products that pursue that goal. I have a problem with the government pushing things that do not work. I do not like the government trying to pick winners and losers. I do not like the government gambling with tax payers dollars. it's idiotic and pricey.

I think hybrids can stand on their own without government assistance. I do not believe that phevs are ready. If and when the tech becomes available to do this then fine.

Look at other industries they have tried to game. Solar? Wind? It's been nothing but a disaster.

RE: That last paragraph
By Paj on 2/4/2013 8:18:20 AM , Rating: 2
I love it when people think the only private industries that the US government supports are wind, solar and EVs. I also love it when they think that 100% of these initiatives fail.

I have a problem with the government pushing things that do not work.

You have to keep pushing things until they work. Early internet infrastructure was garbage. The Manhattan Project was ridiculously inefficient - yet where would society be without their modern antecedents?

No first generation technology works as well as it could - that's why you iterate and improve.

I do not like the government trying to pick winners and losers.

Many projects don't get off the ground otherwise.

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