I blogged earlier this week about China's plug-in car, already in mass production at a sales price of about $20K each. The Chinese electric carmaker, BYD, hopes to sell about 350,000 this year. All in China.
President Obama and Southern California Edison (SCE) staged a press event to get a little publicity for the possible future of plug-in cars in America.
Ford has donated an all-electric protoype to SCE for test purposes. Ford sees a lot of electric in their future. Ford plans to bring four new electrified vehicles to market by 2012 including: 1) full battery electric Transit Connect commercial van in 2010; 2) full battery electric passenger car in 2011; 3) next generation hybrid in 2012 4) a plug-In hybrid in 2012. GM plans to bring out its Volt in less than two years if the company survives.
SCE has maintained an electric vehicle fleet and research center for nearly two decades. They were present for the birth and untimely demise of the GM EV-1. Here's SCE's webpage on electric vehicles. Now SCE maintains a fleet of 300 electric, plug-in vehicles...all the way up to bucket trucks. That's a short step toward President Obama's goal: he wants 1 million plug-in hybrid vehicles on America's roads by 2015. That's the equivalent of three years worth of BYD's sales in China. We Yanks are so behind the curve....
Obama is trying two ways to push electric car sales in America, if you can find one. The federal government now offers up to $7,500 in tax credits for Americans buying electric vehicles. And Obama has begun $2.4-billion grant program, part of his recovery program. Winners would get grants (subsidies) to help increase the manufacturing of batteries in the U.S. Or else build other parts used in electric cars. Currently the high-cost batteries for hybrid or electric cars are all built outside the U.S.