I certainly agree with everyone who thinks our policy should be trying to create better plug-in vehicles. Still, an electric car needs electricity to power it. And electricity needs to be made somehow. It strikes me as unlikely that we're going to simultaneously be able to shift all our electrical production to clean sources while also massively increasing our overall use of electricity to power a nationwide fleet of single-occupancy cars.
Long story short -- futuristic electric cars? Good. Futuristic clean electricity sources and smart grids? Also good. But the killer ap is still reduced consumption. We have proven, longstanding technology that drastically reduces carbon emissions. To wit -- walking, biking, bus, trolley, light rail, metro, commuter rail, high-speed intercity rail. Unlike plug-in vehicles, there's nothing speculative about this technology -- we know that it works, it just costs money. And there's considerable reason to believe that investments in non-highway transportation infrastructure combined with a regulatory structure designed to encourage high-density development near key nodes would enhance economic growth rather than detract from it.
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