"The Hazy Anatomy of a Potential 'Game-Changer' in Automobiles"

"In his State of the Union address, President Obama painted a vision of the jobs of tomorrow -- then pointed to the scientists of today.

'None of us can predict with certainty what the next big industry will be, or where the new jobs will come from,' Obama admitted. But historically, he said, the government has funded basic research that the private sector hesitated to fund itself. Decades later, some of these early forays in laboratories gave birth to entire industries, such as those built around the Internet and the Global Positioning System. ...

A new DOE agency, the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, is key to the president's vision of scientific 'breakthroughs' that can reshape energy, generate jobs and sharpen the United States' competitive edge. ...

Sixteen of these projects, totaling about $62 million, are applicable to electric cars. ARPA-E's director, Arun Majumdar, said there's a range of technologies and approaches. Each has a unique mountain to climb, whether it's reliability, cost, efficiency or a combination of these. 'And I don't know which one is going to succeed,' he said. 'But if one of them does, I think it will be game-changing.'"

Saqib Rahim reports for ClimateWire February 3, 2011, in the last of a 4-part Cleantech series.


Part 1: "Can the U.S. Help Its Solar Power Industry Reach Financial Liftoff?" (Peter Behr)

Part 2: "the Art, Luck And Risks Involved in Turning a New Process Into a Viable U.S. Company" (Peter Behr)

Part 3: "Growing an American Electric Car Industry, a Tale of Two Companies" (Saqib Rahim)

Source: ClimateWire, 02/04/2011