General Motors CEO made it pretty clear what the domestic automakers need from the U.S. government: more funding for alternative fuel research.
Wagoner made the plea at an economic summit held at Carnegie Mellon University, with Illinois Senator Barack Obama in attendance.
Wagoner stressed that in addition to the government funding of alternative fuel research, more attention needs to be paid to making green technologies affordable for the average consumer, according to The Detroit News. “We need to keep in mind … application of these new technologies is pretty expensive,” Wagoner said. “We need to provide some support to make sure these new technologies are affordable to consumers.” GM is already pushing for a $7,000 tax credit for anyone that purchases the company’s upcoming 2010 Chevrolet Volt.
Obama responded by asking: “How do we shape our energy future in a way that allows GM to remain competitive, keeps some of the best workers in the world on their jobs and generates profits for the company and shareholders?”
Wagoner’s response was to focus more on battery and hydrogen technologies, which promise to dominate the automotive landscape over the next 20 or so years. Wagoner also hinted at the domestic automakers’ increasingly red balance sheets, saying that further government funding was necessary.