Oil prices are at record highs. The overwhelming dependence of our cars and trucks on oil strains family budgets, threatens our national security and contributes to global warming. Plug-in electric vehicles have the potential to significantly reduce the United States’ dependence on oil. Yet can this potential be realized? If so, how? Is there a national interest in putting millions of plug-in vehicles on the road soon? How should policymakers in Washington, D.C., respond?
The legislation to channel federal funds to auto/auto parts makers is already in place. All we need now is appropriations to fund the mandates.
But given the recent defeat of a bill in Congress to repeal the tax break on oil companies, it looks like substantial federal funding won't come until at least November. If the Democrats capture the White House and a greater majority in Congress in the 08 elections, then maybe there's hope for HEVs in the US yet. Otherwise, US automakers are finished.