GM’s VP For R&D Larry Burns has a new post up at Fastlane, calling for a “partnership between the U.S. government, auto manufacturers and suppliers, the energy and infrastructure industries, and other key stakeholders focused on transforming the automobile.” After all, as Burns says “we all seem to be coming to the conclusion that the automobile as we know it — powered by a combustion engine — must eventually go the way of the horse and buggy. It is simply not sustainable.” And so Burns humbly offers GM’s solution: The Cadillac Converj, A concept car that is powered by electricity. Unless it wants to go more than 40 miles, in which case it’s back to the ol’ ICE. But luckily “significant challenges” are actually a good thing when you are going for government handouts and not the Standard Of The World.
After all, just as GM needs help working out the kinks in its wondercars, the politicians need help convincing consituents that they are working “deliver a broad set of societal benefits, including enhanced energy security, sustainable mobility, increased competitiveness and significant economic and jobs growth.” Win-win, right? Uh, yeah, they tried that. It was called the Partnership For A New Generation Of Vehicles (PNGV). It didn’t work out so well. As in $1.5b of your tax money wasted with nothing to show for it. Unless GM is considering filing for 501c3 status, we’ll take a pass on “sharing the public/private risks and rewards” as Larry puts it.