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Unformatted text preview: Star Trek” too Giv en this unc ertainty , the wis e thing for politic ians would be Science and technology to s et ov erall em is s ions targets , and leav e the ris k to bus ines s people. Wherev er this has been tried, in Europe, Am eric a, J apan and m ore rec ently China, c arm ak ers hav e grum bled: but they hav e res ponded—m os t notably by s queez ing m ore effic ienc y out of the c entury ­old internal­c om bus tion engine. Sadly politic ians s ee elec tric c ars not as a m eans to a greener future but as an end in them s elv es . Barac k Obam a is s till prattling about hav ing 1m of them on Am eric a’s roads by 2015 (s o far he is only 5% of the way there); this week Angela M erk el res tated her aim to hav e 1m s uc h c ars on Germ any ’s roads by 2020 (a m ere 3,000 were s old there las t y ear). Under fire from Congres s , M r Obam a has s topped lending to m ak ers of elec tric c ars and batteries , but he s till wants to inc reas e the m ax im um federal c redit for elec tric c ars from $7,500 to $10,000. And the Chines e gov ernm ent is planning to rev iv e an old s ubs idy s c hem e worth up to 60,000 y uan ($9,800) per c ar. Suc h s ubs idies m ak e little s ens e. If gov ernm ents want to c ut em is s ions it would be better, s ay , to pay people to ins ulate their hom es . Better Plac e ac hiev ed little in its brief, ex pens iv e life. But if its failure, des pite hav ing s uc h weighty bac k ers (inc luding GE and HSBC), pers uades gov ernm ents of the folly of pic k ing winners , it will not hav e died in v ain. From the print edition: Leaders Rec ommend 35 Submit to reddit View all comments (43) Related items T OPIC: In tern al­co mb u stio n en g in e T OPIC: Un ited States » v e h ic le s » The Economist explains: How safe is fracking? Diesels: Difference Engine: Born again The Economist in prison: About that missing issue Propulsion systems: The great powertrain race Emissions: Green wheels The Economist explains: W ho are the "squeezed middle"? T OPIC: Barack Ob ama » T OPIC: T ech n o lo g y » Politics this week Electricity forecasts: Tilting towards windmills Surveillance: Empty promises Technophobes: Disconnected Letters: On Russia' s infrastructure, whistleblowers, Egypt, Detroit, state taxes, the royal baby Digital media: Counting the change Mo re related to p ics: Science and technology Automotive technology Electric vehicles Want m ore? Subs c ribe to The Economist and get the week 's m os t relev ant news and analy s is ....
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This note was uploaded on 09/22/2013 for the course EECS 440 taught by Professor Amonour during the Fall '13 term at University of Michigan.

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