John Mendel, Honda�"s executive vice president, yesterday called for policy makers to refrain from promoting �Sthe virtues of one technology and demonizing another.⬝ Speaking at the Moving Ahead 2010 conference at Ohio State University, Mendel suggested that government agencies are �Slaying all their chips on the technology du jour.⬝ Without explicitly pointing fingers at EVs, Mendel made it abundantly clear that he believes support for electric cars and next-generation batteries represent �Sa rush to select a winner that could lead us in the wrong direction.⬝
The Department of Energy has invested $1.4 billion in plug-in cars and battery research and development grants, $25 billion in low-interest loans, and has created a federal tax credit up to $7,500 for battery-powered vehicles. Meanwhile, consumer incentives for conventional hybrids have not been renewed, and investment in hydrogen fuel cell technology has been slashed.
�STo put the country on the course to a single technology without fully understanding its implications, including whether customers will buy it, will put us behind in achieving our objectives,⬝ Mendel said. The Honda executive believes that government�"s role should be to set goals for achieving improvements in air quality, climate change and energy sustainability, and to �Sleave it to industry to figure out how to get there.⬝
Slow Adoption of New Technologies
Mendel pointed to the slow rate of adoption of conventional hybrids, which represent less than 3 percent of new car sales, 10 years after Honda introduced the original Honda Insight in December 1999. �SIf we can�"t convince people to move a hybrid, which is fully functioning and is as easy to refuel as an internal combustion engine vehicle,⬝ Mendel questioned, �Sthen we have to serious consider what we will get them to accept in terms of battery electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles with their myriad of limitations, such as cost, driving range and refueling or recharging options.⬝
Read More... [Source: HybridCars.com]