GM and Electric Utility Industry Launch Collaboration in Support of Commercializing Plug-in Vehicles
|Saturn Vue PHEV plugging in to a Coulomb Chargepoint (earlier post) in San Jose, CA. Click to enlarge.|
General Motors and the nonprofit Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)—with the support of more than 30 of the top electric utilities in the United States and Canada—launched a new collaboration to accelerate the introduction of plug-in electric vehicles.
General Motors, EPRI and the utility companies will work on everything from codes and standards to grid capability to provide an infrastructure to support the Chevy Volt, the Saturn Vue Plug-in Hybrid and other plug-in vehicles when they come to market. Details of the alliance—the largest and most-comprehensive yet between an automaker and the electric utility industry—were announced in San Jose during the Plug-In 2008 Conference.
Among the many things the coalition will address include ensuring safe and convenient vehicle charging, raising the public awareness and understanding of plug-in electric vehicles, and working with public policy leaders to enable a transition from petroleum to electricity as a fuel source.
The coalition of utility companies plays a critical role in developing universal technical standards that will facilitate ease of use and commercial feasibility of electric vehicles. The utilities in the collaboration provide service in 37 states, helping to ensure that plug-ins are not constrained by lack of infrastructure to only certain sectors of the country.
EPRI is pleased to collaborate with GM and utility leaders in electric transportation to work together in advancing plug-in hybrid electric vehicle transportation. This collaboration is critical in the development of standards that will lead to the widespread use of electricity as a transportation fuel.—Arshad Mansoor, Vice President of EPRI’s Power Delivery & Utilization sector
Last month, GM, along with EPRI, received a conditional award from the US Department of Energy to create a plug-in demo program using the Saturn Vue.
Last week, the Japanese government announced a collaboration of nine automakers and motorcycle manufacturers, six battery makers and Tokyo Electric Power Co to fomrulate standards for automotive lithium-ion batteries. A draft of the standards will be developed under the lead of an organization affiliated with the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. The companies aim to pitch their specifications to the International Organization for Standardization, with the goal of creating the global yardstick for lithium ion batteries in vehicles. (Earlier post.)