Electric Car Bills on the Hill: 10 Things You Should Know

From earth2tech: Electric Car Bills on the Hill: 10 Things You Should Know

The Electric Drive Vehicle Deployment Act of 2010, introduced in Congress this week, has a simple goal to electrify half of all cars and trucks on U.S. roads by 2030, and a basic strategy: focus the might of the federal government on a small number of pilot communities around the country, subsidizing the buildout of charging infrastructure and purchase of electric vehicles.

Generally, electrification is a good idea (as opposed to fossil fuels) as it is easier to control the environmental effects of energy production if they are at single points. It also enables more easily switching between fuels without having to modify 200 m vehicles, that is it is a more general technology. However, half the cars by 2030 seems singularly unambitious, how about half of all new cars by 2020 being electric, fuel cell, or hybrid, and almost all new cars by 2030?

Battery innovators: The Senate version proposes $1.5 billion for research aimed at delivering a battery that can go 500 miles on a single charge. The Senate also proposes establishing a $10 million prize for whoever delivers a commercially viable battery with those specs.

Somehow I think the $10 million prize will have a greater return on investment than the $1.5 billion in federal research. How about upping the prize (or establishing many prizes) and let the market fund the research with the hope of payoff.