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Who will control electric vehicle technologies?

No doubt, the near-term future of electrified vehicles in this country is dicey.

But my guess is that — however bumpy the next few years are — within a decade or two, electric-drive vehicles will have a noticeable share of the U.S. fleet. They might be electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids, or various hybrid drive permutations.

That would be a good thing for reducing our dependency on Middle East oil. But we might wind up dependent on a technology for which China is the global leader.

As writer Alysha Webb reports in a story today, electric-drive expertise has been steadily flowing from the United States to China over the past year.

That trend caught the attention of one member of Congress last week. U.S. Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., went into attack mode after hearing that Wanxiang Group, a large Chinese supplier and automaker, was preparing to buy a controlling interest in battery-maker A123 Systems Inc. A123 had received a $249.1 million federal grant to build U.S. manufacturing plants.

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