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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: Volt is small
By Dr. Kenneth Noisewater on 2/1/2013 1:40:07 PM , Rating: 2
It's a pretty comfy ride and I'm a big guy (6'4" >300lbs), though the back seat is darned small and suitable really only for children or shorter adults. Back seats fold down for increased storage, which comes in handy.

I do wish higher-density battery techs (Envia, LiS, etc) get here sooner though. I'd like 50+ mile range in winter within the same battery weight and size budget in my next EREV (or better yet get a lighter genset and use that weight for more battery)..


RE: Volt is small
By dgingerich on 2/1/2013 2:33:41 PM , Rating: 2
That sounds a lot like my 2005 Monte Carlo: comfy up front but really small, near useless, back seats.


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