The former chairman and CEO of Intel Corp., Andrew Grove, thinks that energy and transportation have reached a strategic inflection point. That's a term that Grove coined years ago to describe a point in time when conditions in an industry have changed sufficiently to force a sudden and dramatic change of course for a company. Grove believes that the confluence of oil prices, environmental concerns and economic conditions now demand a rapid move from internal combustion to electrically driven vehicles.
Grove is now pushing to find a way to retrofit the tens of millions of older vehicles on the road with hybrid drive systems. Grove is pushing for tax incentives to help fund battery and conversion kit development. While automakers support the call for battery development help, they have been less enthusiastic about conversions. The concern is that converting existing vehicles to hybrid or electric drive could undermine the safety and durability of those vehicles. Automakers expend a great deal of effort on integrating systems to ensure reliability. With conversions, it's difficult to guarantee the robustness of the integration. Nevertheless, Grove will devote the next semester of a business school class he teaches at Stanford to finding ways to make EVs possible.

[Source: Associated Press via Detroit News]

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