tv Book Discussion on The Great Race CSPAN April 5, 2015 7:00am-8:04am EDT
pro-isis, picture giving isis the one finger salute, yet the fbi deemed it workplace violence at the end of the day. >> is there a nonfiction author or book you would like to see featured on booktv? send us an e-mail to email@example.com, tweet us at booktv or post on our wall facebook.com/booktv. >> you're watching booktv. next, levi tillemann in conversation with energy expert daniel yergin looks at the $2 trillion global automotive industry and the competition between the u.s. japan and china to create the car of the future.
>> there are stacks outside if anybody gets hungry here. are you ready? high, everybody. i'm daniel yergin, director of new america and i'm pleased to welcome you to this discussion today on the electric car. and also very happy to welcome the viewers on c-span2 our discussion. we are going to be talking about a terrific book today called "the great race" by levi tillemann. it's a very timely book. this is really the fourth time that the electric car has appeared on the scene and the first time was when thomas edison was a great proponent of the electric car and spend $1 million in the dollars of that day which would be many millions of dollars to date over
a very continued trying to develop it. he promised the head of the biggest electric utility company in america that he was going to give them lots and lots what a great market would be. it didn't work out. there were two more episodes and then finally we are here today. it is challenging to write a book on this subject, and to write the book that levi has written. several requirements are necessary. one, you need to know cars. to, you have to have a sense of automobile technology. three, you have to know chinese and japanese your and four, you have to have a sense of national politics and international competition. so levi, there's not many people who meet those requirements that you actually did meet them. i think it would be to get started i remember when this was just an idea. can you give us a sense of what made you think because when you
started the book we are going to run out of oil, oil would be $500 a barrel, and the electric car, today, oil is $50 a barrel but nevertheless last year 120,000 electric cars were sold in the united states. tell us how you got involved with this is what made you decide to want to write on the subject. >> a lot has changed since i started the project. one thing seems never to change which is patriots always win the super bowl. we may have different feelings about that but when i started the book and really 2008, 2009, the inspiration to look into electric field came from a meeting i had the the ford motor company. i was meeting with a person who's in charge of all of their product to fill the. his name is derek and his role was really set the long-term
strategic development plan for the company. i had a start up company i was working on. we're working on a very radical small efficient internal combustion engine and we hope that would be the future of automotive technology. in fact, we didn't take batteries very socially but when i had my meeting with derek, the lights came on and he congratulated me that this is a really interesting design but i'm not going to put money into it because it would cost billions of dollars. and within 15-20 is everything is going electric anyway. that was a huge shock to me. i walked out of the meeting with my partner editor jim and i said, do you think he was serious about batteries? my partner said yeah i don't
think he was joking. he wasn't laughing. so that made me return to the drawing board and take a look at electrification and what were the drivers behind electrification, and there were some very clear macro drivers things like oil scarcity that we thought was a big deal at the time. it's like carbon constrained world that we are moving towards which hasn't changed, but also the idea of industrial leadership and the fact that there were these big countries, big economies that knew that the automotive sector was going to be a critical part of their infrastructure going forward speed what happened to the engine? >> it is on the ice right now but let's say i bought into electric asian and i know into combustion engines are going to be a part of the transportation picture for the next 20, 30 years.
but increasingly there will be a move towards batteries and have fuel cell vehicles. >> what was significant to you was when you in shanghai and you saw what the chinese are doing with electric cars. was that an epiphany as well are we already committed? >> the thing that's really amazing to me is how much has changed since 2010 and i set the world expo. their chinese partners of the howling of your family with the structure of the chinese automotive economy but basically you have all of these big multinational automotive manufacturers and in order to sell cars in china, in order to produce and sell cars in china they have to partner with a local company. the largest is the shanghai industry corporation at the apartment with a number of these, with general motors. they were asked to put together
a vision of what the future of shanghai could look like. so they created this absolutely dazzling display where you walked in to a stadium seating theater. it was a huge imax screen. you strapped into a seat and it flew you through this incredibly technologically van, critically clean electrified world where all of the vehicles were autonomous, no stoplights, flying people who could drive around freely. there were mothers who were making it to the hospital on time to deliver their babies because they had an efficient -- [inaudible] >> that looked like something that was sort of going to happen by 2030 and might never happen in 2010. but in 2015 it's pretty reasonable to assume that something like that is going to be well on its way towards
characterizing the transportation system of 2030. we already have things like the google car out on the streets today. every major automobile manufacturer has a serious autonomous vehicle program under development in every manufacturer has a very serious electric vehicle program as well well. >> so from this discussion after reading the book you get a sense that you be able to form your own opinion as to what kind of car you will be driving in five 10 or 15 years. we'll come back to the subject at the end of this, but the architecture of the book is really a competition among three countries, china, japan and the united states. wide rather than companies did you organize this into country's? >> that's a good question and a lot of people have asked me about that. automakers are multinational. gm sells more cars in china today than it does in the united
states. but you see that one of the things that drives technology on one of the most important things driving the evolution of the auto sector did is regulation. regulation still happens on a national scale. sometimes it happens by seven national scale. so when the case of the united states, you have a big -- >> we will go into that in a minute, but why you chose those three countries. why didn't you choose russia or germany? why did you choose those three? >> they are the largest automotive economy in the i conveniently spoke chinese and japanese so that made it an even easier choice. my german studies a little bit of work. i could've added brazil into the mix. but it wasn't quite as sexy. >> you started to get you talk about china, to talk about the
united states, you talk about japan. then you talk about what me the most powerful and agency in the world, california air resources board, carb, ma and you talk about the long reach of carb an important that is. tell us why california which at this point is still part of the states you treat as a separate sovereign. >> starting in the 1940s california was subject to really a rolling environment or crisis which was a smog crisis. the problem was in the 1940s nobody knew where the smog came from. sounds crazy to date the seems obvious small comes from anna eshoo emissions automobiles but at the time they didn't know. technology who did some cutting edge research and figured out that most of the smog in los
angeles in particular was coming from cars. the result of that was over the next 10, 20, 30 years california built up what was by far the most sophisticated regulatory infrastructure for researching and also regulating the emissions of automobiles but also other forms of environmental pollution is. in 1970 when the clean air act was passed in washington, d.c., the federal government recognized that. to recognize california was far ahead of them in terms of understanding the science of smog but also how to regulate smog and how to drive manufacturers towards bringing new technology smarter. they created a special put out and a carpet in the 19 sand cleaner act that allowed california to set its own regulation for a missions. >> so that meant that decision made in 1970 then actually
quite a long time ago and has a big impact on the electric car today. >> it reverberates very strongly to the present day. and it's even more impactful because of the fact that other states are allowed -- california has very strict air pollution requirements and those requirements they are really the root of california -- >> ended carb -- from reading the book you get the impression that carb, if you try to say where does the modern car come from, a lot of it comes from california from carb. that's what your book is as. you agree with your book. you haven't changed your mind. >> sometimes i have disagreed with myself. >> de la salle where we are now, what carb did to get the car on the road to? >> an interesting story but in the 1980 general motors was in a
bad place. they were being drubbed by the japanese who were flooding the u.s. market with high quality low-cost imports. and effect it had gotten so bad that the free trade ronald reagan made a political deal with the japanese government to have something called voluntary export restraints with the japanese throttled back the number of vehicles they would export to the united states. and so things were not looking good for the u.s. auto industry. chrysler had just gotten a billion dollar bailout from the federal government. general motors decided that they were going, although more obligated, but they were going to enter a solo race across the australian outback to show just how cutting edge they still were. that they were not living up to the japanese, that they could still compete on the world stage in the most cutting edge technology of the day.
they crushed the competition but i think it was like a weeklong race and they were three days faster than the closest competitor spent what does that have to do with carb? >> it was an electric car and he decided to continue this project and they built a concept car. they wanted to call the santana the leadership to such code the impact. it had huge impact on the auto industry because regulators from carb drove it and they decide this is the perfect weapon. >> is that the windows called the aegon we'll? >> maybe. -- egg on wheels. that was the forerunner of a vehicle called easy one. many people have probably heard of through the documentary who built the electric car.
but really it was the impact that convince california regulators that an electric car was a viable consumer option and it cost them to build a set of rules that would cut into a much more package air pollution related rules that is such a set out a timeline for innovation and said by 1998 2% of the cars that are sold in california have to be electric. by 2003 10%. >> but that failed. >> i would say it didn't fail. i would say it was postponed. one of the good things about this policy was there was a built-in review mechanism to the couple of years and come back say this is working, this is not working, why is it that working? is the technology ready? then they would also fight a lot about the automakers. >> how did the automakers like
to? >> not very much. probably testimony liked them. it's been an evolving relationship. in general the relationship is being characterized by a series of very cantankerous boss is. >> so what is carb requiring today and how is that working? >> so today you have a situation where seven states in addition to california have bought into carb your emission mandate which basically requires that automakers if they're going to sell cars in california or the seven other states have to sell a certain proportion of electric vehicles. the interesting thing they've done is they overlaid a market on top of this mandate which is enormously efficient. it means rather than just saying every single automaker has to sell 2% electric cars this year,
3% electric cars next year, and automaker to make a strategic decision whether it makes sense for them to build electric cars and so or by credits that are awarded to automakers when they sell an electric vehicle. they can buy them from another. >> how much do they cost? >> it changes to anyone who is selling more or fewer electric vehicles. and sometimes the price is really high. a couple of years ago the max to testimony model was producing about, people estimated $35,000 worth of credits per vehicle. >> so in other words testimony in addition to making revenue was also making revenue from selling credits to? >> and still are. testimony made $76 million through the credits alone in 2014. it's a lot of money and has a big impact on the business model for these electric vehicles.
>> how many electric cars are a bit, 120,000 that were sold last year what proportion are in california? >> a lot. if you look at california plus the states the following the mandate, it's almost all of them. it's hard to get good numbers on exactly where the cars are being sold. california put out an announcement, i think november of last year that it and its partner states have sold 250,000 electric field goals. that was when the u.s. electric vehicle market had sold the 250,000 electric vehicles. it's not all of them but it's a lot of them spin let's turn to china. we were having this conversation five years ago the news coverage, the article forgot that china was going to eat everybody's lunch with electric car. why is china so committed to the electric car?
and then once you do that we will come back to the question of how it has worked out and how it hasn't worked out. >> there's a number of reasons why the electric field makes a lot of sense. first of all they have -- anyone who spent time in china has seen this, i know when i go to china i wake up early. i look at the wind and the you can see the sky i strap on my running shoes and i go running because there's a good chance you'll not be able to do it again for the next six or seven days. the pollution that there is so bad that precooling you can't get a good view of the building that is across the street from you. they have an environmental crisis that is in some way similar to the california crisis of the 1950s. you're from california so -- >> i can remember the painful smog, yes. >> it's just as bad if not worse in china today. actually it's a lot worse. that's the first reason.
the second reason is energy imports. china's economy is growing very quickly, not as quickly as it was over the past 10 years, but it's still growing at a rate of 7% plus per year. that translates into increased energy demand. the electric vehicle is a means by which time you can still getting increase mobility but not increase their oil import. the third reason though is to me the most interesting, and i think it's the real reason why the chinese are interested in electric vehicles, which is the current minister used to be an audi engineer. >> a very interesting story. >> he came up with this idea when he was in germany of leapfrogging the west into the air of electric vehicles. he knew because he worked at audi which makes him the best most in the world he knew how smart i was to build a
production system that could produce these kinds of products at a world scale any of it would be very difficult for china ever to catch up to germany or japan or the united states in the critical technologies. >> so they saw this as a way to the a global player in the automotive business, and is he was they could not become a global player with conventional? >> exactly. so what happened was he met the then minister of science and technology very quietly brought him back to china but it seems like probably a lot of decisions were made by the time he came back. they installed in that one of the best university's in the
country. they promoted him to president of that university and making in charge of the chinese government's program for developing leading-edge technologies and then speed you're skipping over it's a very important thing in china. >> huge. it's like nasa plus. nasa and darpa and the national science foundation all rolled into one. and then they made him was not a member of the communist party a member of the state council. and made him minister of science and technology, and that was just in unprecedented thing. it had not happened for 40 years that someone who is not a member of the communist party had been a member of the state council. and he is still driving this electrification from a central level. >> and so the program the
leapfrog hasn't happened yet. i mean, i think as you read the great race you have the sense that china started very strong and has picked up the pace. would have been? >> they put put any numbers among them an interest program and it was an enormous amount of enthusiasm and a lot of propaganda that underpinned china's program. that's what the exhibit was. it was the chinese government putting a lot of pressure on to demonstrate to the world what china's system of the future was going to look like. the problem is that they really got the incentives wrong. it couldn't be much more opposed to a things worked out in california. in california they made a bunch of mistakes in the past. they had already been involved in this kind of tug-of-war with the industry over the 1990s and before that with emissions
technology. and so they interested how to pressure automakers. they understood what kind of incentives automakers responded to. and the chinese on the other hand, put a lot of political pressure on the heads of major state-owned enterprises who are not just ceos by politicians in china. they put a lot of money behind the electric vehicle program. they were giving huge subsidies nine, $10,000 from the central government, many cities and provinces would put in another $10,000 in electric vehicles. >> but it hasn't taken off. >> to me that's one of fast anything because it shows that propelling these industries forward isn't just money. it's not how much money is not something. it's whether you get the incentives right. >> there's a third player in the great race which is japan.
where does japan start? how does japan get into the game? how are they doing? >> japan has a terrific place to be by the way we'll talk about i think there are some people are from the japanese utilities. so cal south japan got into the game. >> at the beginning of the japan was really kind of almost as a spoiler for the american auto manufacturers. starting in the 1970s carb was putting pressure on the big three to reduce air emissions. they had come together and form a study committee that was theoretically working together on developing new emissions technologies but they were promptly sued because the federal government thought they were colluding to keep better technologies out of the auto market. and i think carb was are skeptical of their collaboration as well.
so what carb did was they turned to the japanese and they said we have a huge market here and we have very defined goals for our market in terms of air quality. what we want you to do is develop the technologies that detroit isn't willing to. and nissan and toyota they're almost like the victory of japan. they weren't interested in getting out ahead of policy, but honda to our market opportunity. they closed down their f1 racing team. they put all their best engineers on the project. the founder would come in every day and he would work shoulder to shoulder speak is this electric cars of? >> this is -- electric cars yes. they became, they develop this new set of technologies that detroit had said was impossible. so japan became kind of a
recurring competitor to detroit, a theme within the american regulatory community was that it detroit can't do it look to japan and they might actually provide a way forward. >> something get us to the electric car. >> so the electric car angle comes in in the 2000s. in the 1990s, just like every selling vehicle in california, the japanese were forced to buildtheelectric cars and they were building electric cars, not doing with great gusto, but as the first program that california put together was getting mired in lawsuits and the slogan. it was a nuclear engineer who worked at the tokyo power company and especially, he
started his career at the fukushima daiichi nuclear complex which many of you may be for my with because that's where the with this horrible nuclear accident starting in 2011. he decided that the best way to promote nuclear power in japan was to show the japanese that there was value to nuclear power beyond the standard and social usages, lighting and home usage. so he presented a plan to management of the tokyo electric power company to build an electric vehicle that would allow japan to transition away from oil and towards a nuclear fueled automobile it they said this is a great idea, we have to find someone to do it. no one wanted to. so he left his position as a very respected nuclear engineer to run this electric car program, spend years knocking on doors trying to get folks
involved but most of the japanese automakers said we are not interested. now that california isn't forcing us to do this, we have zero incentive to get out in front of the pack from a technology perspective and to building electric vehicle. finally, subaru and mitsubishi decided that this is something that they were interested in. and at least with mitsubishi, it wasn't really a decision that came from the top of the company. there was an individual there who ran a big research program who love to electric cars. he had been involved in building electric vehicles response to these california programs in the 1990s. he knew his leadership would shoot him down immediately if he said he wanted to start developing a new generation of electric vehicles, but he decided to secretly build a vehicle anyway.
they develop this new ecosystem for electric cars and then they moved to enlist the japanese economic planning organization, and they decided to do a study on what electric vehicles really were the future of transportation to they brought in academics, consultants and industry specialists. the end result was they decided for japan to remain at the cutting edge of automobile to ecology they would have to put serious money behind -- >> when was that? >> 2006. 2006, 2007 and that's what nissan got in in a big way. after nissan got in the scale of funds going towards developing the automobile has changed. >> so if you're going to evaluate, your book is called
"the great race: the global quest for the car of the future," handicap or the race is now and the you think will lead the race. >> certainly the japanese are selling a huge number of electric vehicles. there are more plug in electric -- >> do they have battered? >> japanese and koreans are both very good in the. they both so high quality batters to the japanese are a little more sophisticated when it comes to automotive technology and integrating those batters into cars. but i think you could make the argument that the japanese would probably have been leading the traits or at least much farther out on your chip except for the 2011 tsunami and nuclear disaster. after that disaster, pepco which have been driving this process had the resources get it. they lack funding or their development program. leadership for japan's program
-- built this entire program to promote nuclear power was taken off the electric vehicles program that he is actually grown, he started to really be very enamored with this program and eventually he was put in charge of that goes entire nuclear energy program. and the reason why he is interesting, he wasn't involved in the 10 years of decisions that led up to the fukushima nuclear disaster. instead, he left to work on this program to promote nuclear power, and the result was that when they reached this kind of cataclysmic point of the nuclear power program he had a lot of credibility. he had done something incredible and he was made the lead. >> which country would you put into the forefront of that? >> i think america is far,
special because of tesla but also because of carb. >> by coincidence levi, whose dog is named tesla such as a consequence, but we really haven't talked to tesla. then we will open up to the audience, at a couple -- >> she was barking until 2 a.m. last night. >> tell us about the impact of tesla. >> i spent a lot more time in the dog park -- no. castle is an incredible company. it is the result of a set of technologies that was really the outgrowth of the movement in the 1990s, the individual that elon musk but the ritual of technology for tesla motor company from have been engineered on the fundraiser which was the name of the gm car that they raced across yesterday outback in the 1980s. i think tesla has really changed
the game in terms of public perception of electric because. people used to think of them as golf carts and now you have the youtube videos where they put a tesla model said dan which is a fairly large sedan that can fit seven people, peak capacity, low these supercars with the soldiers and they have them drag race. testimony leads to leaves the supercars and the dust for lease one-eighth of the moby to the acceleration is phenomenal. and so that is been hugely important just shifting the perception of electric because. >> two questions before you open it. one is you are a big proponent of a national policy. wisely administered that comes through in the book. it's a small part of the book. the book is really a narrative.
some might read it and say wait a second this is about when seeking behavior rather than innovation, and social policy. address the question of innovation role of government, role of markets and the national policy versus rent seeking behavior. >> that's a great question. for me it always comes down to difference between strategy and tactics. the scary thing to do is we confront a lot of challenges in terms of energy and climate. and we have to make some pretty huge changes if we are going to avoid catastrophic climate change but the nice thing is that gives us a very clinical that we can use as a strategic guidepost for where we need to be in the next two, three, four decades. i think it's important when you think about industrial policy to
have a strategic mindset regarding the long-term goals but then to be somewhat tacitly flexible. in terms of technology, the california air resources board understands that look any zero emission option that doesn't create a lot of air pollution is going to be fine from our perspective and they are pursuing a number of different technologies to they put a lot of money into ceding new technologies that are working quite aggressively on fuel cells but the main focus is electric vehicle and that's because it's quite clear with the next 20-30 years the only technology that is viable to bring us to really zero emissions in terms of both criteria emissions which are the ones that the human health as they create air pollution and carbon emissions which are emissions that generate climate change. electric vehicles are the only thing that really fits out there. i think it makes a lot of sense
to use those strategic guidepost and to create systemic incentives that allow us to efficiently drive towards a place that is going -- >> do think the policies the u.s. has put in place have worked to achieve their goals? >> the problem with the policies from the federal government is that most of them were formulated on an extraordinary timeline. the federal government has spent $700 billion within an extremely compressed period of time. so you can see efficiency of california policies in terms of expenditure of funds is just much much better spent what was the goal initially president obama said, was in 1 million electric cars -- >> by 2016. spent when do you think we might make it?
>> 2017 or 2018 depending on what the market does. >> not that far away. >> the interesting thing was i don't know where that goal came from. it's a gold speech it was far enough way at the time. >> it sounds like something that was formulated for a speech, if you look at california school together with the seven other states we will have 3.3 million vehicles on the road by 2025 to a model that is not very carefully and a calibrated these together with the partners to figure out how many cars can we achieve. >> in your "washington post" op-ed the other day you to take on the question and i'm sure is on the minds of people here and people watching on c-span, which is the question of oil is $50 a barrel as we speak now not 500 the low gasoline prices.
probably people fill up today, a little over $2 and, of course, it will fluctuate over time. so what did the low gasoline prices do? that was one of the basic premises of the policy to will this affect things that? >> it certainly will affect things. this is such a huge systemic issue for the u.s. economy. as you know, dan it has massive stimulus effects in terms of consumer spending but it's also potentially a big problem in terms of energy production in places like north dakota or texas. the living leading edge of what it's doing to the economic growth in texas or north dakota? >> it's negative, i can tell. >> are there any hard numbers? but you see it as a huge systemic effect, but the nice thing about the california program, they have created a shock absorber mechanism, which is the credits. if you sell few -- fewer
electric vehicle, that mandate is to place and that means the price for credit goes up and that creates an incentive for automakers to lower their prices, do whatever they have to do to sell more electric vehicles. so they don't even have to buy really expensive credits from someone else or you know, they have to meet this mandate. that's a critical thing. i don't see the california retreating on that. it will probably have some effect, but the truth is that there's a mechanism. >> let's open it up for questions. and i believe there are microphones. let's start the first and i saw was way in the back. >> maybe a few years ago i heard
they were trying to define what is an electric car. and general motors indicated that the volt is an electric car and then we heard analysis saying that it's not a to electric car, it's a hybrid. however, it's just an electric motor. is the batteries for electric motor -- automatic we have the japanese small electric car the hybrid car. that's considered a hybrid. what are the percentages that are required in these limitations you know, california 2017 or 2016? >> how do we define the electric car? >> and i have another point. i live in a high rise, 300 units, and i wondered a couple years ago about getting a plug-in hybrid and i needed a myspace but i haven't underground space and i wonder how to handle this. they said they were looking for but absolute nothing got done.
didn't develop lines strong enough so the court could retry located. >> thank you. so that's, there are two questions. how to define, and the infrastructure question. >> i will start with the second question first which is the infrastructure is a big issue. i live in a condo. they would be street parking for my car and that would love to have an electric car but i can't because i don't have a place to plug it in. that is i think the big issue going forward in terms of expanding electric vehicle use easier in a suburb or in a commuting neighborhood where people have garages that they parked their car and every night. i think that was the original target, but it's a terrific solution for city as long as we can find a place to plug them in to i worked on these issues at d.o.e. there's an interesting initiatives in places like new
york city and in california to try to address that problem. the first question but what do we consider an electric car, well, there are kind of gradations of electrification. the first kind of vehicle you mentioned was a pure plug-in electric vehicle. i think most people draw the line between what we would call an electric car and something that is not really an electric car with an extension cord, which is if you plug the card into the wall and it gets its electricity from the grid rather than getting it from an internal combustion engine, then you consider that a plug-in electric vehicle, otherwise it's a hybrid. you have batteries like in the toyota prius, and yes, they have electric motors, but all of the energy that is being used by that toyota prius comes from gasoline. >> there was a question in the middle. right there.
>> i'm retired from the government. fisker had a loan guarantee of like what, a huge amount of money, i forget how much and toyota is coming up with 100 fuel cell next year in 2016. they're giving away 5000 patents. is that going to be more important than the electric car the hydrogen fuel cell? >> so the question is the hydrogen fuel cell is there going to be an important competitive? >> the future of transportation, a spectrum of technology and they don't think that one technology is going to win out completely. you see growth paths for plug-in electric vehicles, hybrid electric things, advanced internal combustion engines, and i think the debate among serious policy analyst is not whether one is going to take over the entire base what are the
different growth paths going to be a which was going to grow faster and which ones are going to grow less fast? so the hydrogen fuel cell is something the japanese government is putting a fair amount of money into. toyota and honda are both interested in it. the californians are putting a fair amount of policy work behind hydrogen fuel cells as well. but personally i have a hard time getting around the infrastructure issues for hydrogen fuel cells. it's very expensive to produce nitrogen. today, hydrogen is produced mostly from natural gas or coal which means you don't get a big win in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. i keep trying to get a good answer from a hydrogen fuel cell proponent as to why anyone would want to own a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle as opposed to standard gasoline vehicle. because in the electric car see the fuel is really cheap.
you can feel at home which region and had to go to the gas station and the performance can be terrific. with the hydrogen fuel cell you still have to go to the gas station. it's not cheap. the cars are not cheap and the fuel isn't she. i don't see compelling business model they are that is better than a gasoline basis model. >> levi, we talked about china japan, united states. is france ease the eu a play in this or is the fact that our large automobile companies in europe who are playing to an american audience? >> the eu is definitely behind the united states and japan. ability for a time it was results as if they were behind china as well but germany has really come on in a big way. >> by germany giving the government or automakers speaks both. at first it was the german automakers. bmw came on strong with a really
neat electric vehicle called the id3 that is made out of carbon fiber. it drives great. you have to sit in it and feel with the injury is like the it's one of the best design vehicles i have ever been in my life. it has doors that open like a rather than this which makes it cool as well. they also have an electric supercar that they've developed which has a plug-in electric technology that is kind of similar to the chevy volt but much more robust. and again this is about the coolest looking for you've ever seen in your life. >> cooler than a tussle? >> it looks cooler than a tussle. i don't think it's necessary quite as good a car for the money as tussle but it is a cool car. i will finish by saying that with bmw getting into the electric vehicle in a very
strict with the german government has failed to set that they're going to start getting behind them. >> we need the mic up here. >> you mentioned for generations of electric cars and we are in the fourth generation. what's different about the fourth generation? is it a signal of what the future holds? >> that's a great question. i think the thing that is different about the fourth generation speed you should just briefly say, the thomas edison was the first generation. >> i think you can say that our fore and aft generation generations of the it depends on what continent you are. thomas edison to put more than $10 million of his own money into electric vehicles. after world war ii there was a brief bullets in japan where they're building electric cars because consumer automobiles have been basically banned by the occupying allied forces and electric cars were kind of a loophole.
so toyota had the division that serve to electric cars and reselling them. people were using them instead of traditional vehicles. but -- >> and cheap gasoline. >> and cheap gasoline to the third was in the 1970s after the oil shock with the price spikes in gasoline to the was a lot of interest both from a policy level but also among some private sector are aucklanders in building a new generation of electric cars. >> when you read the language from the time it sounds like language from five years ago. and then the three and a half. >> and the other is in the 1990s with california's first i would say extended electric car program. and the current generation of electric vehicles really started in japan intel pashtun in 2006
spend what would you say is different? >> the first thing that is different is the skill. this give us a much bigger than it ever has been in the past. weaseled 120,000 electric fields in the u.s. last year, which may not sound like a lot in terms of a 16 to 17 million vehicle automotive industry but it's huge in terms of laying the technology foundation or truly mass-produce and mass-market electric vehicle. i think that's the number one thing. from a technology perspecbetter motors, the result of a new generation of permanent magnet base, permanent magnet-based batteries on motors that are just superior to the ones they were using in the 1990s. we have a different set of technologies going into the batteries. in t bad theories
they were using were mostly lead batteries, very early stage lithium-ion batteries but the batteries we're using today are almost all lithium batteries and the cost has come down enormously. just since 2008 the cost is plummeted by 75%. things are moving really fast. >> the lady there had her hand up. >> first, levi this is a great story you are telling and very exciting to see it come out. the earlier question about how do all the different technologies across automotive innovation connect, i just want to follow up in d.c. we're seeing a transformation across the automotive technology. can you talk about how some of them what you think somebody federal policy drivers that are transforming the industry as a whole impact the electric
vehicle industry? and maybe for example the earlier speaker mentioned fisker. the same loan programs were critical for both tussle and nissan. and highly successful. how do some a larger automotive federal incentives connect to this story has? >> that's a huge question and a very good question. obviously, the federal government was very important for moving castle of through a very difficult period during its economic crisis. the federal government basically saved the u.s. auto industry. i know you're an expert on these issues, so you know better than anyone, we could've lost general motors. we could've lost chrysler, and if both of those companies would've gone under the net really would've had horrible effects on the supply chain of ford. >> and horrible effect on the us economy. >> horrible affect.
i think the kind of midrange projections or we would've lost another 2 million jobs if chrysler and general motors would've gone under. it would have been a huge problem, and the federal government, although they spent a lot of money during that time period, and some of the money was not produced in the most efficient manner, has had some very very important policies over the last 10 years that supported the industry and electric vehicle enters a specifically. there's a very important federal tax credit of $7500 for electric vehicles that has made a big difference in terms of consumer willingness to purchase electric cars. and the final thing is fuel economy requirements and that is the most interesting story. i was talking with one of obama's energy advisors the other day heather. and she was saying that mary nichols who is head of the california air resources board
was practically running the federal government's negotiations with automakers when they were negotiating fuel efficiency requirements. so these fuel efficiency requirements will promote electric vehicle manufacturing to a certain extent that people are going to want to up there in pg's by employing electric legal to most people say 50.5-mile per gallon by 2025, which is what the future fuel economy requirements are can be achieved mostly without plug-in electric vehicles. it's not something that's going to drive electrification in the same way that the california programs do specifically drive electrification. >> last question. last two questions and then a couple questions from the. >> i met new american editor longtime fan of levi's work. levi, which go back to an earlier point that dan you have
to raise about international policy. there are two ways as an economist to look at industrial policy for a new sector of the economy. you can make very strong argument that if you have a new industry that is coming online it makes sense to put out incentives and/or to help them get a foothold in build the infrastructure that they need to compete. much want to time limit that the you don't want to provide those incentives for ever but you can also get incentives that are being provided to electric vehicle industry from an of our mental perspective and say it's a mechanism for xml's associate with the internal combustion engine. in that sense may be you don't put time limits on the instances. i would be curious to know your view how you see this process unfolding in a perfect world. should they be an expiration date on incentives that are being provided, or is this necessary in order to reduce the harm that is being calls to the harm being caused?
>> you could write many dissertations on the question you asked. i think there should not be and argue as to whether the sunrise industry in electric vehicles should be subsidized right now. it makes a lot of sense to get this industry off the ground, with some pretty serious subsidies from the federal government and as for state and local governments are willing. i think there are probably better ways of the with long-term externality of climate change that subsidizing the electric deal industry specifically. but the thing that i see ineffective and russia policy is that it is administered by people who are not so constrained politically that they can't recalibrate when the external environment comes in. you do that very clearly without
the japanese have a approach the industry and also how the california air resources board has approached the automobile and she. you can't know what's coming in the future and so you just have to expect you're going to be able to set out a philosophy or specific game plan and to follow that for the next 10 or 20 years is a little bit naïve. i think what you need to do is have a long-term strategic goal have a thesis, start acting upon the thesis, revisit that thesis on the radio basis and then figure out whether that thesis still holds. and so i don't think that i could actually give a definitive response except to say that you have to think strategically and then have to have a certain degree of flexibility. >> take the last question there. >> i'm from sustainability
science practice a policy, just a question about how telephone use carb even in the oil glut counteracting and making the electric car worth pursuing anyway, even in this environment of cheap oil. is that like unique to california carb, or if you zoom back and look at the global level are there other countries that are doing that? >> okay, let's get to that question. spent i think that is somewhat unique because of the fact that california has created this market mechanism to govern the deployment of electric because. is a very powerful to have a mandate shared with a market. you've seen this and other federal programs. we sought in the saw in the acid rain program with these mandates regarding reductions of sulfur dioxide emissions but he also had a market overlaid on the mandate to allow them to dramatically reduce the compliance costs. the californians are courting a
the first people to use this mechanism but i think in terms of the global automotive industry they are the only people applying it to electric vehicles right now. just one more point on that. to me it is a great way of dealing with our immigration policy with opec. it seems a little bit crazy that you should let an oil market govern how much money is going into your innovation policy for vehicles, traditionally oil prices go down people start buying less fuel-efficient vehicles and a lot of money flees the fuel efficiency and oil alternative sector. and that is graded very damaging cyclicality within these spaces. the carb mechanism of establishing mandates with a market attached to it really allows california to set its own innovation policy rather than
opec sets the u.s. innovation policies. >> in the last couple minutes we have, this is a book and credible research. you've got things inside that on the u.s. china japan, industry. great storytelling, great personalities, and very important narrative it's not going to ask you to go out on a limb or maybe to go out at the very end of their very long extension cord and tell us what you think people will be tried in 2025 or 2030 the people in this room and the people watching on c-span and the people across the country. ..
>> will be the the total driving experience clinics they will get into electric cars quite >> it depends you want to drive. if you want to drive an electric vehicle company will drive an electric vehicle. if you want a car that had capabilities by 2025 you should deal to purchase a car with substantial autonomous capabilities. and someone will offer those options. some people will still drive
their chevy silverado decoded. today we have been a lot of economy features. you have lane keeping dynamic cruise control which allows the caller to slow down the beta based on the speed of the car in front of the ear by 2025 bosch and google say you'll potentially be able to get in your car program the destination and will drive you from point to point. >> well, this is quite a story. the book actually starts with henry ford and in a sense, although it ends now it really ends in 2025 or 2038 and turns of how it plays out. this is a book to take along on a trip and recommend the "the great race" to everybody. thank you all for joining us with levi tilleman.