ENERGY DEPT: Making Electric Cars Is The Single Most Important Task For National Security

There’s one energy challenge that outweighs all the others in terms of economic, military and ecological importance, according to a report from the Department of Energy (via NYT).

We’ve got to kick our reliance on oil. And to do this we’ve got to build a lot of electric cars:

As a result of this Review, we find that DOE is underinvested in the transportation sector relative to the stationary sector (energy efficiency, grid, and electric power). Yet, reliance on oil is the greatest immediate threat to U.S. economic and national security, and also contributes to the long-term threat of climate change. Vehicle efficiency has the greatest short- to mid-term impact on oil consumption. Electrification will play a growing role in both efficiency and fuel diversification. DOE has particular capabilities in these areas. Within our transportation activities, we conclude that DOE should gradually increase its effort on vehicle efficiency and electrification relative to alternative fuels.

There plenty of reasons to move away from oil: OPEC, Peak Oil, Deepwater Horizon, etc.

But one major reason mentioned in the report is that this form of energy is inefficient, especially in transportation. A shocking 75% of petroleum used in transportation is wasted as “rejected energy.”



Barack Obama’s energy goals include reducing oil imports by one third by 2025 and putting one million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.

The most important role of the DOE is investing in research to develop hybrids, plug-in hybrids, battery-electric, and fuel cell vehicles. These have the most long-term potential and, as the report acknowledges, the current vehicle industry is not as well equipped to deal with fully electrified vehicle research and engineering on their own.

Full electrified vehicles also require modern grid infrastructure, thus the DOE is devoting most of their attention towards plug-in hybrid and hybrid technologies.