The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

GM Easing Transition to Electric Vehicle Technology

February 06, 2009

WASHINGTON–General Motors is working with key stakeholders in cities such as San Francisco and Washington D.C. to develop policies and enablers to accelerate the transition to plug-in electric vehicles. Announced at the Washington Auto Show, GM outlined actions needed to ensure the early success of the Chevrolet Volt and other plug-in vehicles.

"Cities have an indispensable role in making plug-in vehicles successful," said San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. "We are acting now to make sure the charging infrastructure will be available to support these vehicles as soon as they are ready for sale, and we are working with other cities in the region to make the Bay Area a thriving market for electric transportation."

Key stakeholders to establishing plug-in-ready metropolitan areas and regions include:

·    State, city, and county governments.

·    Electric utilities.

·    Regulators/public utility commissions.

·    Permitting and code officials.

·    Clean Cities coalitions.

·    Local employers.

·    Universities.

·    Early electric vehicle adopters.

GM is working to address challenges such as cost, public and workplace charging infrastructure, consumer-friendly electricity rates and renewable electricity options; government and corporate vehicle purchases; supportive permitting and codes for vehicle charging; and other incentives such as high-occupancy-vehicle (HOV) lane access.

More than 30 Volt prototypes powered by lithium-ion battery packs are undergoing testing at GM's Proving Ground in Milford, Mich. 

Last October, the federal government approved a $7,500 tax incentive for consumers of plug-in electric vehicles such as the Chevy Volt.

In November, the California cities of San Francisco, San Jose, and Oakland announced a plan for plug-in vehicle infrastructure, incentives, and enablers.

GM is also working with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and a coalition of more than 40 utilities to solve challenges and accelerate the commercialization of plug-in electric vehicles, as well as helping to create Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) standards for the vehicle charging interface.  

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