The Baker Institute for Public Policy put out a report indicating that by far the best bang for the buck in mediating any putative oil crisis would be the rapid and aggressive uptake of electric cars.
I tend to agree with that.
Noting that it is stated Obama policy to have a million electric cars on the road in the US by 2015, I have wondered if that may have been a little optimistic given the continued and persistent whining you hear from the big truck drivers who believe that electric cars are very expensive glorified golf carts which are unsafe etc etc and they just won't drive them.
Sounds like a baby throwing it's toys out of the stroller in a tantrum to my ears, but nevertheless, there is indeed some price resistance even with the generous rebates given by the federal government. The production numbers in terms of vehicles produced per year were also on the low side to my eyes, so I suspected that though there is seed production capacity currently under construction or already in operation by most of the major auto manufacturers I had felt it would be premature to ask "are we there yet?" and answer with a definitive yes.
Now, however, into the scene jumps China, the 800 lb gorilla in the room. They have just come out and made a statement that they want to manufacture 1 million vehicles per YEAR by 2015.
Now that is more like it. If we are seeing prices in current ranges with production capacities in the thousands of units then I suspect that we may see between a 30-50% drop in price for the batteries with current generation. That could mean that e.g. a volt could be sold for $25,000-$30,000 and a leaf could be sold for $15,000-$20,000.
Now THOSE are numbers the average joe can work with.