What's it going to take to get electric vehicles proliferating our roadways in America? According to Larry Burns, GM Vice President of Research & Development, it's going to require the close cooperation of the government, automakers and suppliers, energy companies and you, the American public. Right now, there are quite a few competing technologies and the lawmakers could sway the development of one or two with the right set of subsidies or investments and automakers could then focus their R&D budgets on those technologies. Energy companies would therefore focus their attention on getting a proper infrastructure in place, which would leave the actual buying of the resulting ready-to-run vehicles to the population at large. Easy, right?
Actually, its going to be an extremely difficult challenge to make a major shift away from petroleum-powered internal combustion engines to whatever the next technology is going to be. Of course, General Motors has bet big on extended-range electric vehicles, with its Chevy Volt scheduled to hit the market's waiting arms sometime in 2010. Next question: Are you ready to buy?