Electric cars need a boost.
U.S. automakers too often seem to be behind the technological curve. In the 1990s, the federal government gave the Big Three automakers more than $1.2 billion to develop a high-mileage gasoline-electric hybrid car. Despite this hefty investment, no U.S. hybrid hit the road then. However, Japanese automakers were concerned enough by the program to develop their own hybrids, which began appearing in 2000. U.S. automakers have worked to catch up. With gas prices now reaching record levels at more than $3 a gallon, the importance of research into electric vehicles cannot be overstated.