The Holy Grail of the car business now is to build rechargeable batteries making the use of fossil fuel limited or unnecessary. The work on these projects has gone on for years, but finding a technology that will take a car hundreds of miles without a new charge has proved difficult.
Now, several companies are pulling together to make a battery and they want the US government to hand them a huge amount of cash. According to The Wall Street Journal, "Fourteen U.S. technology companies are joining forces and seeking $1 billion in federal aid to build a plant to make advanced batteries for electric cars, in a bid to catch up to Asian rivals that are far ahead of the U.S."
What the group probably does not talk much about is that several companies in Asia already are in the process of developing and marketing advanced batteries. So, why waste the government's money? Some analysts are worried that many of these batteries will be sold to car companies in Japan and Korea and that US car companies will not get their fair share.
Since when is the US government the bank for developing technology that is already moving along well outside the US? If American car companies want the batteries, they simply have to be willing to pay a competitive price for them. The federal government is about to spread enough money around the car industry so that it does not need to add to that by reinventing the battery wheel.
If American companies cannot innovate as fast as Asian rivals, that's tough luck.
Douglas A. McIntyre is an editor at 247wallst.com.