General Motors is out to prove skeptics wrong and show the Volt really will be coming to market for the 2011 model year. GM released its comprehensive plan of action to help cities prepare for plug-in electric vehicles, including the 2011 Chevrolet Volt.
GM plans to begin by collaborating with communities like San Francisco and metropolitan areas such as Washington D.C. Step one is to increase awareness of the vehicle in early-adopter markets including San Francisco and Washington D.C. where there is already an interest in hybrid vehicles.
The goal with GM’s plan is to have a plug-in infrastructure developed by the time the Volt hits the market sometime next year. In addition to noting San Francisco and Washington D.C. as key markets, GM also noted the parties that need to be involved in the development. The key parties include: state, city, and county governments, electric utilities, public utility commissioners, permitting and code officials, clean city coalitions, local employers, universities, and early electric vehicle adopters.
“Cities have an indispensable role in making plug-in vehicles successful,” said San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. “Here in San Francisco, 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.”
In order to make the charging infrastructure work and be as clean as everyone wants it to be, several challenges need to be addressed. There need to be incentives for people to buy these vehicles such as: consumer-friendly electricity rates, renewable electricity options, and public and workplace charging infrastructure. Another incentive being considered for residents in states with high-occupancy-vehicle and car pool lanes is the ability to drive plug-in electric vehicles in these lanes without other occupants. The government approved a $7500 tax incentive for consumers of plug-in electric vehicles.
GM is also working with the state of Michigan, the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), and a coalition of more than forty utilities to make the infrastructure to power the Volt possible. By working with these organizations, companies, and governments GM is leading the charge in creating standards and a working infrastructure for plug-in hybrids.