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Letter: Keep improving electric cars

Volkswagen chose to use a turbocharged gas engine

Volkswagen chose to use a turbocharged gas engine for the 2013 Jetta Hybrid. At just 1.4 liters, it should deliver stellar highway economy. Credit: Volkswagen

The electric car has a way to go, according to columnist Charles Lane in "Who killed the electric car? Reality" [Opinion, Feb. 13]. I agree, but I also think that brain research has a way to go. That doesn't mean we should stop.

Research has traditionally been the place where government investment has accomplished great things that we now take for granted. The Internet and the jet engine come to mind. Even though the Wright brothers are credited with the first flight, it was research by government on flight during World War I that developed planes, for reconnaissance operations. The modern passenger plane is nothing like the DC-3. Technology doesn't emerge at its highest level on the date of invention, and the journey to get to viability is costly. Industry innovated and improved the airplane, but a lot of the expensive early research was done by government.

The writer points out that the costs of these new inventions are absurdly high. Agreed, they are. That is always true when dealing with new technology. However, we are on the cusp of unprecedented gains that will crush barriers.

Ernie Fazio, Centerport