Roadmap To Electrification: Please Have Toll Ready

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
roadmap to electrification please have toll ready

Battery electric vehicles are widely seen as the most promising long-term automotive greentech, but they’re also hardly poised to take over the industry. A host of issues are keeping EVs out of mainstream acceptance, ranging from battery capacity issues to the lack of a charging infrastructure. For a group of electric transportation-sector businesses though (including Nissan, which is heavily hyping its Leaf EV), it’s nothing $124b in government support won’t fix. A press release on the Electrification Coalition’s “Roadmap” explains:

The Electrification Roadmap presents a bold and specific vision: By 2040, 75 percent of light-duty vehicle miles traveled in the United States should be electric miles. As a result, oil consumption in the light-duty fleet would be reduced by more than 75 percent, and U.S. crude oil imports could effectively be reduced to zero… “It is absolutely crucial that all of the key elements of an electrified transportation system are introduced in a highly coordinated fashion and in a way that is effective, affordable, and appealing to actual American consumers,” [David Crane, President of NRG Energy] said. “Introducing all of the separate elements, from cars to infrastructure, simultaneously in select communities across the country will move electrification beyond the early adopters; policymakers will witness the national benefit derived from a new kind of transportation system while consumers will benefit firsthand from a new kind of driving experience.”

Reuters reprints a Gas 2.0 gusher on the announcement, featuring the breathless lede of the day:

A remarkable new study predicts that at least 14 million electric cars will be zooming around the US by 2020, and reckons that EVs could account for a startling 75 percent of all light-duty miles driven by 2040.

Yes, well, the Electrification Coalition isn’t getting together to volunteer to foot the bill. Permanent consumer tax credits of $7,500 per EV purchased are on the table, as well as 50 percent credits for infrastructure construction, test pilots, and more. According to the WaPo, the total bill would come out to $124b in taxpayer support, including $13.5b on infrastructure and $75b on consumer credits. No wonder Nissan’s Carlos Ghosn is featured heavily, breathing such alluring lines as “we are not a maker of electric cars. We are a maker of affordable electric cars. That is the most important thing from the beginning.” Of course he also goes on to admit that without such tax credits this would not be strictly true. Nissan was the only major automaker to sign on to the Roadmap, which is a little strange considering GM’s Volt is supposed to debut late next year, not long after the Leaf. On the other hand, as a government-owned firm, it’s probably appropriate that GM not cheer too loudly for $124b in more taxpayer-funded business plan support.

Download a PDF of the Roadmap from the EC here.

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2 of 21 comments
  • R H R H on Nov 18, 2009

    So nobody has discussed this tax credit in it for "EVs" or electric cars? Can I have the good ole US of A taxpayer subsidize 3/4 the purchase price of my first 2 electric bikes? (Yep you can get them under $10k...)

  • ZoomZoom ZoomZoom on Nov 18, 2009
    Blackberry, iPhone, and many of the newer laptops use very advanced charging models to keep their batteries in tip top shape. And yet, lasting time is still not predictable. Technology and "battery models" can't overcome ignorance. Most people I know are not well educated about their batteries. They run their cell phones, laptops, or blackberrys down dry. Continually. And then they complain that their batteries won't last more than six months. One friend of mine is always and forever saying "I can't talk long, my battery is about to die." Meanwhile, my laptop is a year old, my cell phone is 2 years old, my iPod is about 5 years old. All are still going strong. She won't listen to me, so I've given up. One could even say that a cellphone or laptop is *more* competent at managing the end of a charge in a battery, since software will kick in to reduce overall device performance to conserve the last little bit of charge. I think my cell phone won't allow any calls to be made when the battery is under 20% SOC. Except for a 911 call. But I don't let it get that low. I try to charge it when it's down to 40%-50%. People won’t accept that kind of output from a car. They want it to run the same till it can no longer move. It doesn't matter what people will or will not accept. At some point, we are all governed by physics, regardless of who we "think" is in charge.
  • ToolGuy Nice website you got there (even the glitches have glitches)
  • Namesakeone Actually, per the IIHS ratings, "Acceptable" is second best, not second worst. The ratings are "Good," "Acceptable," "Marginal" and "Poor."
  • Inside Looking Out "And safety was enhanced generally via new reversing lamps and turn signals fitted as standard equipment."Did not get it, turn signals were optional in 1954?
  • Lorenzo As long as Grenadier is just a name, and it doesn't actually grenade like Chrysler UltraDrive transmissions. Still, how big is the market for grossly overpriced vehicles? A name like INEOS doesn't have the snobbobile cachet yet. The bulk of the auto market is people who need a reliable, economical car to get to work, and they're not going to pay these prices.
  • Lorenzo They may as well put a conventional key ignition in a steel box with a padlock. Anything electronic is more likely to lock out the owner than someone trying to steal the car.