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

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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.

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If you re-read, it says "half of all cars and trucks on U.S. roads". This means that 1/2 of ALL CARS will have to be electric. Goodbye 1964 and a half Mustang. Goodbye cheap used cars.

I drive a 1991 Honda Civic with 200,000 miles on it. When it dies, I will replace it with a car that costs under $5,000, if I can afford even that much. I will not likely be buying a brand-new $20,000 to $30,000 car in the next 10 years, unless I start making waaaaaaay more money than I do now. Does this mean that my car will be taken away and I will have to use transit? Even for camping?

I know that is getting a little extremist of me. I know there are lots of options. As I see it the problem is getting really affordable options for people who can't afford new cars. If it cost less than replacing my car, I'd totally have a new electric set-up put under the hood of my old Honda. I love that car. :)

David Levinson

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