In a nutshell, however, the Chevy Volt is on track, even ahead of schedule. More important, GM believes it can significantly reduce costs, especially regarding the battery, by just the second generation. Nonetheless, the Volt will still cost a good bit more than both a conventional vehicle, as well as a conventional hybrid vehicle like the Toyota Prius.

So, can the Volt really be America’s car?

Numerous studies indicate that most Americans are very concerned about foreign oil dependency, and they believe that hybrid cars are a strategically important part of ending this dependency. Yet, the majority of these Americans are not willing to pay extra for these strategically important vehicles.

Can a potentially revolutionary American hybrid, or range extended electric vehicle, change this complacent attitude? Or, are significantly higher gas prices the Volt’s only chance of serious market penetration?

GM is holding a technology briefing today that will include updates on GM’s new, fully operational battery lab as well as more confirmation about a new fleet of pre-production Chevy Volts. None of this news, however, is really that new if you’ve been following the Volt story.

A high gas tax would be the best medicine to hold down gas consumption, and reward fuel-efficient cars. (U.S. cars consume twice as much fuel as European and Japanese cars)

And make it difficult for OPEC to gouge us again when the economy recovers.

(Oil price shocks and manipulation by OPEC have cost us dearly. each major shock was followed by a recession.) So let the money stay here in the USA.

Medicine doesn’t always taste good, but sometimes we need it.

America needs cheaper energy not more expensive energy! Why are people always trying to raise the price of oil instead of trying to bring cheaper energy to market? If alternative energy is so easy to do, why haven’t the Europeans, who have suffered with artificially high energy prices for decades, produced alternative energy that competes with oil? Taxes on energy are just a way for government to raise money. The hardest hit will be those with modest incomes

The first Iraq War would have never happened if America was not so dependent upon foreign oil. That war, however, led to bin Laden’s hatred of the US, which ultimately led to a second Iraq War. Sure those war costs are good for the military industrial complex, but how good are they really for the average person?

If the real world costs were added to the price of oil then gas prices would be much higher. That would lead to real alternatives, such as cellulosic ethanol, clean natural gas, solar etc. These technologies, once scaled and fully invested into, might lead to cheaper energy prices. And not only cheaper energy prices, but jobs here in the US and less military taxes needed to secure the Persian Gulf shipping lanes.

Worldwide energy consumption is going to grow drastically in the coming decades. Oil won’t power the future by itself, not by an extremely long shot. Getting serious about that now would give the US a technological advantage into the future. Holding onto the past, however, will mean America’s best years will remain in the past.

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