Cities Prepare for Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles

General Motors sets the stage for its upcoming electric vehicle, the Chevy Volt, by helping cities become “plug-in ready.”

| Feb. 4, 2009

  • Chevy Volt
    When it's time to recharge, drivers of the Chevy Volt can simply plug the car in to a standard electrical outlet.

  • Chevy Volt

General Motors (GM) is preparing to launch its extended-range electric vehicle, the Chevy Volt, in late 2010, and communities that want to help test the vehicle will need to be "plug-in ready."

According to GM, being plug-in ready includes installing public and workplace charging infrastructures, setting consumer-friendly electricity rates, offering renewable electricity options, and adjusting codes and permitting rules to encourage vehicle charging.

Local governments and corporations can also commit to purchasing plug-in vehicles, and they can offer incentives to make the technology more affordable to consumers. Other incentives, such as access to high-occupancy vehicle lanes, are also a plus.

GM plans to test the vehicles in San Francisco, Washington, D.C. and other plug-in-ready communities.

The Chevy Volt was named the winner of the 2009 Green Car Vision Award at the Washington Auto Show, beating out the fuel-cell-powered Honda FCX Clarity and the plug-in hybrid Fisker Karma, as well as two all-electric cars: the Mini E and the Mitsubishi i-MiEV.

Although GM is charging ahead with its plans to launch the Chevy Volt, the company announced in December that it will delay construction of a manufacturing plant in Flint, Mich., that was slated to produce the 1.4-liter engines for the Volt and the Chevy Cruze. Last week, the company also suspended its construction contracts for the Flint Engine Plant. GM says its plans for the engine plant have not changed, but the company's management continues to keep the plant construction on hold, and the construction contracts were suspended to keep costs down.

2/13/2009 10:33:33 AM

I find the part about setting consumer-friendly electricity rates interesting. I believe that means they are looking at ways to make a lot of money off it !!

Raymond James
2/11/2009 7:36:02 PM

I am looking forward to a plug in hybred so that we can use home wind and solar systems to help charge them. It may not be the total answer but it will help. When I purchased a hybred car in 2003 I asked about plug ins perhaps being available in 2004 and had both the Toyota and Honda salesman laugh. "Why would anyone want to be able to do that?" they asked. I had driven 2 hours to buy a car that day the only decision I had left was what brand, the Toyota or the Honda. Neither dealer seemed to want to be bothered. They did perk up a bit when I showed them the down payment(50% cash) and they ran a credit check. They kept talking colors, radios and extras. I choose the Honda only because after waiting an additional 30 minutes the Toyota dealer still did not have the stick shift brought around for me to test drive. I know some of the reviews of the Honda hybred have not been good but mine has done very well. Most days I average 52 MPG but then I travel mostly level roads with no more than two passengers, hardly ever go over 55 mph and it is the 5 speed stick shift. I understand the automatic does not do as well perhaps because it is heavier.

Zackary LeRoy
2/11/2009 5:21:30 PM

Well that is great. I really hope that they come through with it and that they don't run out of money. What has happened to the Zenn car company we haven't heard much about them lately?

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