Back during the Clinton era, Federal funds in the U.S. favored plug-in hybrids
research. The money shifted during the Bush administration to hydrogen
fuel-cell research. Candidate Obama pledged to have 1 million plug-in hybrid electric vehicles on American roads in six years
, and the DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy has taken Obama's pledge seriously. The general trend for federal money is not back to plug-ins. The stimulus package included $2 billion in grants (at least
) for advance battery manufacturing, according to Steven Chalk, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Renewable Energy.
While I'm sure that most of our readers are likely to think this is a good change in direction, voices have been raised against this measure. "I hope that we will avoid again putting all of our eggs in one technology basket," U.S. Rep. Brian Baird (D, WA) said. Then there's Kathryn Clay, director of research for The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers
, who said, "The DOE program should aim to promote technological diversity to the maximum extent feasible, including a wide range of alternative vehicle technologies."