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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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They don't mention one thing
By dgingerich on 2/1/2013 2:30:34 PM , Rating: 4
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.

There are a great many people out there who have an additional problem with electrical vehicles: charging them. This is probably the third biggest concern, if not higher, and they never mention it.

How are people in apartments and condos, who happen to be a pretty significant part of the US population, supposed to charge these things? How about people who have no driveway or garage, which are a significant minority of the homeowner population? How about people with older houses where the garage doesn't have the necessary wiring to handle that much load? Include all those people, and you likely have at least 50% of the population who can't buy an electrical vehicle because they can't charge it. Duh.

Politicians are so out of touch with regular people's lives, and yet people continue to trust them! This country needs an enema.

By Philippine Mango on 2/1/2013 4:26:52 PM , Rating: 2
These problems I'm sure will be resolved eventually. Achieving Obama's plan of 1M electric cars isn't that big of a deal when you consider how many cars there are on the roads today. There are certainly more than 1M people who would find an electric car to be suitable for them. It's going to take at least 30 years before electric cars see mass adoption. Uptake of electric cars could accelerate significantly if cars are offered with a fast charge option within 15 minutes and it doesn't damage the batteries.

"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad

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