Study says U.S. government incentives for battery-powered cars aren’t cost effective

Article by Christian Andrei, on September 29, 2011

The incentives from the U.S. government that boost the market for battery-powered vehicles are not as cost-effective in reducing oil dependency and CO2 emissions as pushing sales of hybrids and plug-in cars that go short distances on electricity, according to a study published recently at the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The review was conducted by Carnegie Mellon University, Arizona State University and Rand Corp.

The review stated that battery breakthroughs, more-expensive oil and a more-efficient electric power grid will be required to justify the costs, weight, and assembly-related costs of "large battery pack" cars, says Autonews.

The study determined that hybrids comparable to the Toyota Prius and plug-in hybrids that run about 10 miles on battery power provide fuel-use and carbon-exhaust savings similar to more advanced rechargeable models like Nissan Motor Co.'s electric Leaf and General Motors Co.'s Volt.

And best of all, they come at a lower cost. Jeremy Michalek, an engineering professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, led the review, He said that the large battery packs aren’t bad but they don’t offer “as many benefits per dollar.” No recommendation was given by the study for specific models.

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