Energy Secretary Chu: Plug-in Vehicles Will Become Mainstream as Battery Prices Plummet

By · January 11, 2012

Steven Chu

Energy Secretary Steven Chu says that plug-in vehicles will become mainstream as battery prices plummet over the next three to four years.

Speaking at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show, US Energy Secretary Steven Chu stated that plug-in vehicles will become a major force in the automotive industry by 2020. Chu chalks up the rise of electric vehicles to "plummeting" battery prices and claims that the plug-in segment has a "good shot" of hitting Obama's target of one million plug-in vehicles on US roads by 2015.

“Whether it is 2015 or 2016 or whenever, I don't know. I think it is possible. It depends on a lot of things. The price of batteries is plummeting. Three or four years ago, the cost of manufacturing a battery was $1,000-$1,200 a kilowatt hour. It's now about $600 a kilowatt hour. It's going to come down and everyone knows this.”

Steven Chu, US Energy Secretary

Chu reportedly stopped to look at the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco and the 2013 Chevy Spark minicar while passing by the General Motors display at the Detroit Auto Show. But Chu didn't even glance at the Chevy Volt, a vehicle that the Energy Secretary has seen countless times in the past.

Chu closed his remarks by saying that plug-in technology is still in its infancy, and buyers are slowly warming up to it. "The plug-in hybrids will become mainstream, followed by the all-electric vehicles," said Chu.

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