The EV-1 wasn't a fiasco. California had passed a law that mandated that any manufacturer that wanted to sell cars in California would have to sell a certain number of zero emissions vehicles. CA is a big car market and many states in the US tend to follow CA on certain issues. Once the critical number of politicians were paid, the law was repealed and GM took back the leased EV-1's and crushed them so competitors couldn't buy them up cheap and reverse engineer any of the tech. If the law stayed on the books, GM would have been in the leading position. GM was covering it's backside and probably learned a bunch during the process of development that they are using now. With the increase in battery power density and the decrease in cost, an EV is marginally affordable.
The US can afford to spend the money on incentivizing EV sales. They spend far more to have the military in the Middle East keeping the oil flowing. If there wasn't the need to import massive amounts of crude into the US by eliminating a large chunk if it being used for personal transportation, much or all of the armed forces could be brought back home and the region could jihad itself into oblivion without affecting anybody else. Part of the problem is that a large military means lots of highly paid military equipment suppliers. Those suppliers have big sponsorships of politicians to keep any semblance of rational thinking from happening.