Energy Secretary Chu says $20,000, 350-mile electric vehicle possible by 2017

Last Friday, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa celebrated the installation of Coulomb Technologies' 500th plug-in vehicle charging station. That's interesting in and of itself, but it was something Chu said that captured our attention. First, Chu opened with this obligatory statement:
The Department of Energy is happy to be a part of this, but more importantly we're very happy to be really trying to push for the electrification of vehicles in the U.S. The reason is very simple. We have to diversify our transportation energy.
Then, with some overly optimistic claims thrown in, Chu discussed the future of plug-ins, stating that batteries are the "heart" of electric vehicles, adding that the Department of Energy (DOE) is funding research to slash the cost of batteries by 50 percent within the next three to four years. Chu continued by claiming that batteries will boast double, or perhaps even triple, the energy density within six years:
These are magical distances. To buy a car that will cost $20,000 to $25,000 without a subsidy where you can go 350 miles is our goal.
Magical, indeed. Do we have the wizards to pull it off? Hat tip to Josh!
[Source: Los Angeles Times]

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