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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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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.


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