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Energy Sec. Chu: More Electric Vehicles, Less U.S. Dependence on Foreign Oil

Chu champions greater adoption of electric vehicles at the Washington Auto Show

‘We can get to $20,000 with no subsidies,’ predicts Energy Secretary Steven Chu, foreseeing a price plummet for electric cars.
Energy Secretary Steven Chu hailed the increased adoption of electric vehicles during a policy summit at the Washington Auto Show Thursday, arguing that more hybrids and plug-in electric vehicles could help wean America from its dependence on foreign oil.

The United States imports roughly $1 billion of foreign oil every day—dominated by the transportation sector, Chu said—and reducing that demand would have far-reaching impacts for national security and could save American families and businesses money.

Electric vehicles currently make up only a small portion of the U.S. passenger vehicle fleet, but that could change as the cost of EVs declines and more charging stations are established across the country, he said.

[READ: Chinese Electric Car Pollution More Harmful to Humans Than Gas Cars]

“We need an infrastructure for charging,” Chu said, challenging America’s companies to start installing charging stations on their campuses. “We want a diverse choice for transportation other than just oil-based.”

The Obama administration has been confident in the progress and adoption of EV technology, projecting 1 million would be in use by 2015. Chu conceded that recent sales of EVs were off that mark, but remained optimistic given the shifting market forces at play including consumers who are increasingly conscious of fuel efficiency.


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