Plugging (in) my work
The crazes come upon us with such increasing frequency that it’s easy to become jaded. There are the “i’s” for instance — the iPod, iPhone, iPad. Before we know it, many of them become bubbles — solar panels, mortgage-backed securities, ocean-front Florida real estate. So is President Barack Obama feeding another of these manias with ...
The crazes come upon us with such increasing frequency that it’s easy to become jaded. There are the “i’s” for instance — the iPod, iPhone, iPad. Before we know it, many of them become bubbles — solar panels, mortgage-backed securities, ocean-front Florida real estate. So is President Barack Obama feeding another of these manias with his push for advanced batteries and electric cars? He is getting push back, to be sure. At Slate, for example, Charles Lane says basically that Obama has gone in for rich, snobbish sissies. The Economist says electric cars are “neither as useful nor as green as their proponents claim.”
But, in a piece in the new issue of Foreign Policy (just out today), I argue that, notwithstanding whether the surge of electric cars upon us actually gains traction, the race to create and dominate this new industry is very real. And the contestants – every major economy on the planet, and more – think the prize to the winner will be geopolitical power. In a nutshell, China, Japan, South Korea, a bunch of European nations, the U.S. and others think the winner will dominate the last half of this century. All could be wrong, but they would feel worse if they weren’t in the race at all. Here is a slide show of some of the cars we are talking about.
At Newsweek, meanwhile, R.M. Schneiderman has two good pieces this week, one on diesel hybrids and another on ARPA-E, the U.S. government’s radical energy research laboratory.
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