Plug-In Electric Vehicles

What Role for Washington?

Last year, oil provided more than 96 percent of the energy in our cars and trucks. This overwhelming dependence empowers our enemies, imperils the planet, and strains family budgets whenever world oil prices rise. What can be done? The single most important answer may be promoting the widespread use of plug-in electric vehicles. This important book examines the role that the U.S. government can and should play in that mission.

Most major automakers have announced plans to market plug-in electric vehicles, which can generally be recharged with a simple extension cord. What is the national interest in putting millions of these cars and trucks on the road soon? What should the federal government do to help make that happen? Can federal tax or procurement policy play a role? Can federal research and development help? At what point would subsidies for plug-in electric vehicles begin to match subsidies for oil? Answers to these questions and more emerge in this timely, innovative, and provocative volume.

The editor of Plug-in Electric Vehicles is David B. Sandalow, an experienced expert in energy policy. His contributors include former government officials (e.g., former CIA Director James Woolsey), respected private sector analysts, NGO activists, and academic experts. Together they explain the current landscape for plug-in electrics and implications for national security, the environment, and the economy. They discuss what can and should be done to advance the role of plug-in electric vehicles.