President Obama reiterated his goal of making the United States the first country to put 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015 in his second State of the Union address. To achieve that he is supporting advanced technology vehicle manufacturing and adoption in the U.S. through new consumer rebates, investments in R&D, and encouragement to communities that invest in advanced technology vehicle infrastructure. He also proposed a rebate of up to $7,500 on purchase of an electric vehicle. He also wants to advance innovative technologies through new R&D investments. Building on Recovery Act investments, the President’s Budget proposed enhanced R&D investments in electric drive, batteries, and energy storage technologies.
Angela Merkel said in 2009 that her goal was for Germany to take a lead on EVs and move to make up the ground that has been lost.She has said she wants 1 million electric cars on the road in Germany by 2020 and that she wants 5 million by 2030. Merkel's government has indicated that it will provide multi-billion euro investments over the next 10 years to advance research and that she will also act to increase demand from German consumers including tax breaks.
Merkel has emerged as one of the real green leaders in Europe not so much in her rhetoric as in the actions at home. She now has some opposition from a resurgent Green Party in Germany as the nation suffers from the effects of bailing out a number of the other European economies but also worries seriously about nuclear power in the wake of the Fukushima disaster.More recently she has said that nuclear reactors will be phased out by 2022.
So hopefully we get some impetus into the mass manufacturing of electric cars. The two issues at present are the lack of mass manufacturing, the problems of the batteries themselves and then the source of energy that fuels the electricity.
Countries such as New Zealand that have massive renewable resources that simply go to waste at night and which has an average trip journey of only about 30km a day are ideal candidates for electric vehicles but the government there has been less than active ( or maybe the word is sluggish ) in seeking to become an early adopter of a technology that would suit it ideally.
Since the days when the electric car was deliberately killed by pressure from its opponents on the Bush presidency and the CARB , there has been an astonishing lack of progress in this area. it will be interesting to see if such large commitments from two huge economies ( the US and Germany ) can reverse that.
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