Much of the policy debate over electric vehicles has focused on their impact on the environment and energy consumption. For instance, when the federal government gave out more than $2 billion in stimulus money for electric vehicle technology last year, it was the Energy Department that selected the 48 winning projects. But are we paying enough attention to issues that are normally in the Transportation Department's purview, like fuel efficiency and infrastructure needs?
What's the best role for federal, state and local transportation departments to play in developing and promoting electric vehicle technology? If government is to take an active role in putting electric cars on the road, what can transportation officials do that they aren't doing now? Or should the electric vehicle experiment go on without the DOT? How much should be left up to the private sector, from R&D to charging stations? What practical questions aren't being asked?