Originally Posted by ScOoTeR
THe EV1 was heavilly subsidized by GM and would have become a liability to leave in the public's hands. :/
IMHO, the eagerly awaited Volt is going to be a big hit with many people - a plug in EV with a hybrid system for extended range when your batteries run low. I agree that the government is going to have to force the issue - but not so much the innovation - the general public is not ready to buy the current round of high-fuel economy vehicles. The reason we have big, gas guzzling SUVees is because people want them.
As soon as our government takes a step and realizes the automakers sell what people demand and also start getting shuttled around D.C. in a compact car, I'll back what they want.
If by "subsidized" you mean the cost of developing a brand new vehicle, then I guess so... But Im not sure thats the right use of the word. If they would have put the car into production, then the costs would have blah blah blah... you know where Im going with this. As for liability, theres still more energy potential in a tank of gasoline...
By "government forcing innovation" I mean the gov will force car makers to come up with new or more effecient products/designs (invent/innovate), because they would only do it on their own when it is too late.
As for demand drive innovation, at least with US car makers there is often a hyoooge lag time. All you need to do is look at the sales of asian compact sedans and subcompacts over the past couple years. Hell the best selling car is again the camry(?)-fuel effecient/good value/compact. Truth is domestic car makers are only interested in profit per vehicle anymore, and they will die that way.