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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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Electicity Generation Capacity of San Fran?
By DaveLessnau on 2/4/2009 12:10:23 PM , Rating: 3
I wonder if anyone has looked at the electricity generation capacity in the San Francisco area. Last I looked, San Francisco was in California: the state with continuing rolling electrical black/brown-outs due to lack of capacity (NIMBY and BANANA). I'd guess that adding electric vehicle use to the load isn't going to help come this summer.




RE: Electicity Generation Capacity of San Fran?
By Athena on 2/4/2009 12:46:13 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Last I looked, San Francisco was in California: the state with continuing rolling electrical black/brown-outs due to lack of capacity...
That's the part that bothers me. I believe in the future of electric vehicles but I don't see how they can play a significant role in solving our fuel consumption and pollution problems without looking at generation issues.

The Volt is yet another smokescreen by GM. If the company were really serious about this, it would have invested in this sort of effort 10 years ago. Instead, the company spent over a decade and millions of dollars trying to reverse California's right to set standards.

I don't see why we are sitting here thirty years after the first oil crisis without an affordavle solution for people in sunny climates to purchase home solar generating systems that could satisfy daily household and transportation requirements. 30 years should have been more than enough time for all the players to do something.

We don't have the luxury to wait another 30 years. If they can't walk and chew gum at the same time -- in this case increase production of hybrids while working on the all-electric front -- Detroit automakers should stop sucking up resources and cede the field to those who can.


RE: Electicity Generation Capacity of San Fran?
By Suntan on 2/4/2009 2:17:07 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
but I don't see how they can play a significant role in solving our fuel consumption and pollution problems without looking at generation issues.


most cars like this will be charged at night. For many reasons, there is almost always more available capacity at night than in the day.

quote:
The Volt is yet another smokescreen by GM.


quote:
I don't see why we are sitting here thirty years after the first oil crisis without an affordavle solution


quote:
We don't have the luxury to wait another 30 years.


Spoken like a true arm-chair quarterback. The reality is more likely that *no* company can do enough, fast enough, to make a person such as yourself happy. Sorry, but these things don't solve themselves, and it is even harder to do while people such as yourself constantly get in the way without providing any real help in solving the problems (no sitting around betching and moaning about it does *not* help.)

-Suntan


By Athena on 2/5/2009 11:11:08 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The reality is more likely that *no* company can do enough, fast enough, to make a person such as yourself happy.
Excuse me? The lunar landing was a 10-year program and yet 30 years wasn't long enough to reverse a recognized consumption problem? We're not talking 100% solution, just a reversal.
quote:
Sorry, but these things don't solve themselves, and it is even harder to do while people such as yourself constantly get in the way without providing any real help in solving the problems
No, they don't solve themselves and they don't get solved by blaming everything on everyone but those who are/were in decision making positions. I'm not sure how I'm "in the way" but I've certainly done my part to influence where resources go. Nor am I sure what any other posts here have done to "help the situation".


By Masospaghetti on 2/4/2009 5:55:10 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The Volt is yet another smokescreen by GM. If the company were really serious about this, it would have invested in this sort of effort 10 years ago.


They tried with the EV1 EXACTLY 10 YEARS AGO and nobody bought them. If you remember, even mighty Toyota quickly stopped leasing (or selling) their RAV4-EV because there was simply no market for it. The problem is not that the companies weren't willing to do anything, but that people didn't care when these efforts were released. Gas was cheap, and big was in.

GM, like Toyota, is providing people with what they demand - and that has not been extremely high-mileage vehicles until very recently. Also remember that new vehicles take at least 3 or 4 years to develop and that its impossible for a car company to turn its products on a dime when demands shifts so violently, like it did this past summer when oil spiked.

If you remember, Toyota just built its new Tundra plant in Texas because they expected full-size truck demand to increase. Nobody has a crystal ball. Toyota is no different than GM.

What really needs to happen is that lawmakers need to find a way to impose a price floor on energy and offset the increased revenue by lowering payroll taxes. Lets face it - energy, from a environmental standpoint and a foreign-relations standpoint - is being sold for less than what it actually costs us as a nation. By discouraging the consumption of energy, and encouraging employment and job creation, this has a lot of potential. Not to mention that a higher, price-floored energy cost would make green initiatives much more feasible, since producers would not have to worry about falling energy prices in the near future.

quote:
Detroit automakers should stop sucking up resources and cede the field to those who can.


If you ever took your head out of the sand, look at the 2010 Fusion Hybrid - a car that beats the Camry Hybrid hands down in every way (41/36 mpg compared to 33/34 mpg). Ford, contrary to what many people believe, does not license its hybrid tech from Toyota - it was developed ENTIRELY in house, in Dearborn - but the two companies simply have an agreement to not infringe on each other's patients.

GM, on the other hand, has been dragging its feet on the hybrid front, although they do offer better fuel efficiency than Toyota in ALL vehicle classes except for hybrid models and the Aveo. Yes, Cobalt beats Corolla, Malibu beats Camry, Impala beats Avalon, Colorado beats Tacoma, Silverado beats Tundra, Suburban beats Sequoia. Look it up. In my mind, this matters more than hybrids, since hybrids are currently a niche vehicle.

This coming from a guy who drives a 2000 Ford Explorer and a 1996 Chevy Camaro - not historically the most efficient vehicles, and yet I would gladly pay more for my gasoline if it promised a better future in 10 years. (although, I admit I consistently get better than 20 mpg in both vehicles)


By Masospaghetti on 2/4/2009 5:59:01 PM , Rating: 2
This also coming from a guy who's owned a 89 Civic, 89 CRX, 86 CRX, 85 Corolla, 03 Civic, and 93 Accord - so I've been on both sides of the bush.


RE: Electicity Generation Capacity of San Fran?
By Athena on 2/5/2009 11:03:26 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
They tried with the EV1 EXACTLY 10 YEARS AGO and nobody bought them. If you remember, even mighty Toyota quickly stopped leasing (or selling) their RAV4-EV because there was simply no market for i
That is a gross misrepresentation of the facts. GM never marketed the EV1 or any other electric vehicle in California. What they did was develop and lease trial vehicles to a very small group of consumers (applicants far exceeded the available supply) vehicle because California required it. Then they spent much more money an their ultimately successful effort to get the Air Resources Board to rescind the zero emissions requirement.
quote:
Toyota is no different than GM.
Another misrepresentation of the true facts; and one that Detroit defenders consistently present. Toyota and other non-Detroit manufacturers are different in a very fundamental way. It is certainly true that Toyota took advantage of profitable conditions in the truck market, but it did not take its eye off the long term. While GM was putting all its chips on trucks and SUVs, Toyota (and other transplants) continued to invest in passenger cars as well. The result of course is that, Toyota had a bad year in 2008 but not a devasting as GM had. More importantly, the poor showing for GM was part of a trend of declining profits rather than a one-year depression. GMs problems are a direct result of poor management PERIOD.
quote:
If you ever took your head out of the sand, look at the 2010 Fusion Hybrid - a car that beats the Camry Hybrid hands down in every way (41/36 mpg compared to 33/34 mpg).
Talk about head in the sand: the issue is not what any individual manufacturer does with any single line; it's the overall management of the company. As good a product as the Ford Fusion may be, it comes after years of executive disdain for the passenger car segment. After running the #1 passenger car into the ditch and ceding leadership to the Camry, Ford's prospects for re-attracting customers in that segment are not good. It's not an impossible situation but it's not going to be easy and it's a problem of their own making.


By Masospaghetti on 2/5/2009 11:39:03 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Then they spent much more money an their ultimately successful effort to get the Air Resources Board to rescind the zero emissions requirement.


This was faulty legislation that was rightfully rescinded. Why? Because government mandated requirements such as this one will never work in a free market without consumer demand for such vehicles. This gets back to my other point - if they simply enacted a tax on motor fuel (which, given how short sighted many Americans are, is difficult for any politician) there would be consumer demand for EV's, and the market would take care of itself.

quote:
(applicants far exceeded the available supply)

While its true they had a large number of applicants, when it came time for people to actually pay and take delivery, far fewer people actually committed to it.

I'm not debating that GM has poor management. In fact, I HATE the current upper management and am astounded that all of them haven't been fired. HOWEVER, that doesn't mean that GM and Ford should be evaporated. I don't want to even think about the economic impact of losing the entire automotive industry. The important thing is that GM and Ford are turning around and finally producing world-class vehicles. In fact, I would argue that being on the brink of destruction was the only way for GM and Ford to lower their legacy costs (by negotiating with the UAW) which would have been otherwise impossible.

quote:
Ford's prospects for re-attracting customers in that segment are not good.


Ford's prospects for attracting passenger car customers are about the same as Toyota's prospects for attracting fullsize truck customers. Like anything else, one good product launch isn't going to make Ford or GM - but their latest generation of vehicles is clearly equal or superior to most anyone else's, and even their previous generation was much more competitive than they have been in the past.

quote:
It's not an impossible situation but it's not going to be easy and it's a problem of their own making.

I agree. But I would rather give them a chance instead of losing basically the last remaining manufacturing sector in the country. Also remember that these are they guys that produced Jeeps, Hummers, and tanks in the last world war, and we probably wouldn't exist as the US of A without them.


By Athena on 2/5/2009 3:09:02 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Because government mandated requirements such as this one will never work in a free market without consumer demand for such vehicles.
That's a rather disengenuous statement. The market today favors truck-based vehicles precisely because they are "free" from fuel economy and safety standards whereas passenger cars are not. Consumers didn't demand that differentiation; manufacturers manipulated the regulations to their short-term advantage -- to their own long-term detriment and that of society overall.

And what exactly is the point of the current bailout efforts if not market manipulation? It wasn't fuel efficiency that drove GM and Chrysler to the precipice of bankruptcy. In a free market, management lives and dies by its decisions -- including imprudent labor agreements.
quote:
...if they simply enacted a tax on motor fuel....
I could certainly live with that, I'm in favor of anything that reduced consumption. It would have the added benefit of increasing demand for more efficient mass transit as well.
quote:
when it came time for people to actually pay and take delivery, far fewer people actually committed to it.
The manufacturers were all full subscribed for the volumes they were prepared to support during the trials. I don't know about the EV1 but I do know that Toyota had a long waiting list for RAV4 EVs when they discontinued production.
quote:
I don't want to even think about the economic impact of losing the entire automotive industry.
That's the problem in a nutshell: no one wants to deal with reality and work on programs to mitigate the effects of the inevitable. Legislators don't want to think about it; they prefer to fantasize about a GM comeback. They should spend be investing in programs that will help those most impacted by its demise.
quote:
The important thing is that GM and Ford are turning around and finally producing world-class vehicles.
No, that is not the "important thing", the important thing is that Detroit automakers squandered opportunity after opportunity to come up with business plans with long term viability and the bill for that has now come due. The foreign automakers built their business on incremental improvements over the long term. There is nothing that Detroit can come up with in a year or two to combat that.
quote:
Ford's prospects for attracting passenger car customers are about the same as Toyota's prospects for attracting fullsize truck customers.
There is no comparison. Ford ceded leadership in the passenger car segment when it neglected the Taurus and left the field to the Camry. Eleven years later, relatively few customers will be looking to go back to Ford.

On the other hand, anyone familiar with Toyota's history knows that the company will not give up because of one bad year; that it will keep investing in research until its product fits the customer need, refining as it goes along.

More importantly though, even if Toyota never makes it big in full sized trucks (and I think it will eventually), it doesn't matter in the overall scheme because Toyota didn't paint itself into a corner. It can spend the time it takes because Toyota's investment in trucks is about growing its maket share whereas Ford's Focus is about recovering. Ford's future depends on getting something new right, Toyota's does not.
quote:
But I would rather give them a chance...
They have been given a chance -- many chances, many times over. As I wrote to my senators, I am opposed to a single dime going to Chrysler (especially with Nardelli at the helm) and I consider any support of GM as throwing money away. I do think Ford is salvageble but its long-term future grows more perilous when GM and Chrysler are trying to buy time with ruinous promotions.
quote:
Also remember that these are they guys that produced Jeeps, Hummers, and tanks in the last world war, and we probably wouldn't exist as the US of A without them.
In a "free market" companies don't depend on faux patriotism, they earn their reputations every day.

Note: Anyone who thinks that Detroits ills are due to the current economic crisis should read The End of Detroit. Published in 2003, the author cited numerous souces that predicted Toyota would surpass GM in 2008. The economic crisis just accelerated a trend that was clearly visible to industry watchers 5 years ago.


RE: Electicity Generation Capacity of San Fran?
By Doormat on 2/4/2009 2:40:04 PM , Rating: 2
A quick Google search didn't show up any notices for rolling blackouts in 2008 for SF. I found one page for 2007. If you want real electricity statistical info, go to http://www.caiso.com

Also, its not like PHEVs will be produced en masse for a while, the grid impact will be negligible, especially for nighttime use. A US DOE-funded research study found we could replace 43% of currently on the road passenger cars with PHEVs and recharge them at night using all but peaking plants with the generation capacity we had in 2006.


By Spuke on 2/4/2009 6:28:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
A US DOE-funded research study found we could replace 43% of currently on the road passenger cars with PHEVs and recharge them at night using all but peaking plants with the generation capacity we had in 2006.
Hopefully he'll speak up but someone here told me that we (CA) wouldn't have to worry until maybe another 20 years.


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