Battery Cost Reductions on Track to Put More Electric Cars on the Road

U. S. Senate hearing keys in on expanding the adoption of plug-in vehicles.

Published: 21-May-2011

WASHINGTON -- Legislation promoting electric car production and use was the focus Thursday of a U.S. Senate panel that heard that a key to expanded use of plug-in vehicles will be lower costs for advanced batteries.

Energy Department official Patrick Davis was encouraging about the industry's potential even as he said the U.S. "wouldn't want to pre-build infrastructure before the vehicles are there."

The Chevy Volt is the only U.S.-produced plug-in on the road now and so far only a few thousand have been manufactured. A grant program proposed in the Senate aims to have 400,000 plug-in vehicles on the road in the next few years. It would provide grants up to $250 million each for communities to build infrastructure, update building codes for recharging stations and develop incentives to get drivers to switch to electrics.

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