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The Volt can go 40 miles before burning gas. It features a 3.5 charge time on 220V sockets. GM is pushing cities and communities to go "plug-in" ready, adopting charging stations for electric vehicles.

San Francisco has partnered with GM to pioneer how to set up a "plug-in" ready community. It is also offering additional incentives to citizens to buy the Volt.
New initiative pushes for extra stations to grab some juice while on the road

A few key criticisms leveled at GM's generally popular 2011 Chevy Volt electric vehicle (EV) is the short all-electric range (before the gas engine kicks in) and the relative lack of places to recharge on the go.  Similar problems face Ford and Chrysler who are promoting electric vehicles of their own.  GM, who perhaps of the domestic automakers has the most hopes riding on electric vehicles, has decided to do something about this predicament, pushing a new initiative to wire communities with recharging stations.

Gas vehicles wouldn't have very long ranges without the gas stations that are littered throughout most of America.  That's the point GM is making when it comes to the Volt.  While, the relatively long 3 hour charge time (on 220V, 6.5 hours on 110V) precludes a quick recharge, at locations that see longer stays -- like gyms, colleges, and workplaces -- a recharging station could be just the thing for those looking to avoid resorting to using gas in their Volt.  The Volt can go 40 miles on a charge before the gas engine kicks in to replenish the battery pack.

GM will be working closely with city officials in San Francisco and Washington D.C. to adopt citywide EV recharging stations.  Much work will have to be done with area utilities to arrange for payment schemes and to negotiate rates.  GM also plans to target communities that are cited as having poor support after the Volt launches.  GM is working with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and a coalition of more than 40 utilities to help work out the payment schemes.

At the Washington Auto Show, GM announced the new program.  Ed Peper, GM North America vice president, Chevrolet, was on hand, stating, "Collaborating with communities such as San Francisco and metropolitan areas such as Washington, D.C. - where there's already an interest in plug-in vehicles - is another important step toward raising customer awareness of the environmental and economic benefits of vehicles such as the Volt.  The Chevy Volt is truly coming to life, but preparing the market for electric vehicles also requires capable partners from outside the auto industry. Momentum is building as governments, technology companies, communities and universities are increasingly working together to prepare the market for electric vehicles."

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom comments, "Cities have an indispensable role in making plug-in vehicles successful.  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." 

San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland announced in November that they were planning a new infrastructure for plug-ins and would be offering incentives to purchasers.  Those incentives would come in addition to the $7,500 tax credit that the government is offering to those who purchase the Volt, in order to try to boost the domestic EV market. 

While the other domestic automakers are very committed to electric vehicles as well, it’s hard to argue that GM is blazing the trail for the other manufacturers and is putting much more of its future success and image on the line.  At GM, most believe this is a good thing, though. 

"We know plenty of work still remains, both within and outside of GM,” adds Peper. “But today's and other recent announcements underscore the comprehensive work being done to bring the Chevrolet Volt and other electrically driven vehicles to market - and they also highlight why we are so optimistic about the ultimate success of the Volt."

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San Fran?
By mdogs444 on 2/4/2009 9:25:07 AM , Rating: 2
While having a major city test out a market for plug in stations is all well in my book, lets be honest here. San Francisco is not the model city for another any city to mirror itself just about every aspect.

RE: San Fran?
By JasonMick on 2/4/2009 9:46:04 AM , Rating: 4
All comments on San Francisco's merits or lack thereof aside, I'm just really waiting for the jokes about San Francisco being "plug-in ready"!


RE: San Fran?
By mdogs444 on 2/4/2009 9:47:36 AM , Rating: 2
Haha - we can agree on that Jason!

RE: San Fran?
By Bender 123 on 2/4/2009 11:29:02 AM , Rating: 3
What if you need a gender changer to "plug in" with...I am sure SF has some of those around.

RE: San Fran?
By Davelo on 2/11/2009 12:33:32 PM , Rating: 2
Do you bend over to plug in your Volt on Polk street or first drive it down to Van Ness?

RE: San Fran?
By Hiawa23 on 2/4/2009 10:36:46 AM , Rating: 2
I am all for auto companies looking for alternatives, but, let's be honest, most Americans won't even be able to afford these all electric vehicles, so I am wondering, is it out of the question to make gasoline vehicles that get 40 & above mpg, as that's all most will even be able to afford especially given the recession that is a depression to many families struggling right now. Antoher thing, I am really concerned for the American Auto companies cause there is noway they are going to be able to pay back those loans given softening sales that are worse than they anticipated, so they will be back asking for more money. Scary times right now, & I really don't see any turnaround in the economy this year, or even next with all the job losses that keep mounting which will bring about a new wave of forclosures, as most will lose their homes if they lose their jobs. Hopefully they can get the recharge stations in place & get all the details worked out.

RE: San Fran?
By Moishe on 2/4/2009 11:18:51 AM , Rating: 3
I'm surprised that people are wanting a quick recharge. The whole point of the Volt's plugin systen is that the technology for a quick recharge (<5 min) is simply not in existence right now. The Volt takes care of that by providing the generator. Sure we need electric outlets and we need to move in that direction, but it's not at all critical at this point. Most people can do their daily driving within 40 miles and those who can't will use a tiny amount of gas when they go over.

This sounds to me like it's a way for the extreme in SF to use "ZERO" gas.

I wonder what if the electric companies will charge higher rates for the "car" outlets because they can.

RE: San Fran?
By Spuke on 2/4/2009 2:25:23 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder what if the electric companies will charge higher rates for the "car" outlets because they can.
I would charge more.

RE: San Fran?
By Moishe on 2/4/2009 2:39:09 PM , Rating: 2
I would too.

I'd actually peg the electricity to gas prices so that it's always cheaper by a certain amount. Everyone wins.

RE: San Fran?
By ebakke on 2/4/2009 8:07:41 PM , Rating: 2
I'd peg the electricity to electricity prices so that it's always based on the price of my inputs. That way I don't keep losing money, and I can stay in business. Now everyone wins.

RE: San Fran?
By FITCamaro on 2/4/2009 11:03:58 PM , Rating: 1
Yes but the people of San Francisco are idiots who think Obama is the Messiah come to cure all the worlds problems. Just think of the energy potential from all the hot air coming out of his mouth.

"Death Is Very Likely The Single Best Invention Of Life" -- Steve Jobs

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