Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney didn’t use the collapse of federally-subsidized battery maker A123 Systems Inc.
as a talking point in last night’s debate, to the relief of electric car advocates. That doesn’t solve the real problem underlying the company’s collapse. That will take science.
A123 is just one in a long line of ventures and big auto company R&D programs that have benefited from the periodic fits of enthusiasm in Washington, D.C. for weaning transportation off petroleum. As Obama administration officials hastened to point out in the aftermath of A123’s bankruptcy filing Tuesday, the company got $6 million in subsidies from the administration of President George W. Bush.