The trick to dominating technology in the new automotive reality – the one that won't be based on liquid fuels, especially not petroleum – lies in the batteries. We've already heard the phrase "the Saudi Arabia of plug-in cars" bandied about and some national security folks are worried about Bolivia, with its massive reserves of lithium, might be able to assert itself onto the world stage the way Saudi Arabia did last century thanks to its oil deposits. Taking control of the plug-in vehicle future is the reasoning behind the recent $2.4 billion federal government investment in advanced batteries and the cars and charging networks that will use them, according to the Christian Science Monitor.
Since IHS Global Insight is predicting a massive increase in the number of vehicles sold in the U.S. that will have "some kind of battery power at their core" (about 47 percent by 2020), being able to build your own packs reduces dependence on other countries in a big way. President Obama made this perfectly clear during his announcement of the grants, saying, "I don't want to have to import a hybrid car. I want to build a hybrid car here." Watch a video of Obama's speech after the jump.
[Source: Christian Science Monitor]