The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is backing away from its previously announced plan to see 1 million electric cars on U.S. roads by 2015, saying the timeline isn’t really all that important.
“Whether we meet that goal in 2015 or 2016, that’s less important than that we’re on the right path to get many millions of these vehicles on the road,” an Energy Department official said.
Energy Secretary Steven Chu (pictured) outlined a plan during the Washington D.C. Auto Show that could be a more realistic outlook at the pace of EV adoption by American drivers.
Achieving that and reducing emissions have both been key parts of the Obama government’s automotive plan. Regulations for corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) numbers to reach 54.5 mpg by 2025 are still in place, and electric cars will probably play a key role in helping automakers achieve that.
High costs and questions about long-term reliability hurt sales so far, but the DOE is backing a new plan now to promote research into lithium ion battery technology that could help lower those costs. The plan aims to lower the cost, which currently sits at $650 per kilowatt hour to $300.
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