Obama's electric car champion

By: The Associated Press Email
By: The Associated Press Email

President Barack Obama has pledged to bring 1 million plug-in hybrid electric vehicles to U.S. highways by 2015, and the man tapped to lead the charge has a job ahead of him.

David Sandalow is the Energy Department's assistant secretary for policy and international affairs.

He says the "single quickest thing we could do to get off of our oil dependence is to begin converting our fleet to electric vehicles."

Sandalow has his own hybrid vehicle and says "electric cars are quiet, they're cheap to drive, they've got great pickup and I think they're patriotic." And he says he only has to fill up his gasoline tank about once a month.

But it may be challenging to turn other people on to the idea. The lithium-ion batteries expected to power electric vehicles are extremely expensive --about $33,000. That can be reduced with tax credits and federal stimulus funds could bring the cost down by the end of 2015.

Sandalow says electric cars are the technology of the future.

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