Thomas Friedman’s article in the New York Times Saturday, Their Moon Shot and Ours, bemoans the lack of focus on some important long-term (“moon shot”) US goals. By comparison, China has four big infrastructure goals, including a focus on electric cars.
Friedman, who visited an electric car plant in China recently, makes a compelling case for an expanded focus on the electric car industry. For one thing, he says, “the country that replaces gasoline-powered vehicles with electric-powered vehicles — in an age of steadily rising oil prices and steadily falling battery prices — will have a huge cost advantage and independence from imported oil.”
A first step, according to Friedman, is to provide consumer incentive to encourage the electric car market: specifically, raise the price of gasoline. “Europe is using $7-a-gallon gasoline to stimulate the market for electric cars; China is using $5-a-gallon and naming electric cars as one of the industrial pillars for its five-year growth plan.”