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GM Working with Communities to Develop Roadmap For Plug-in Infrastructure

General Motors is working with communities such as San Francisco to develop a plan of action to establish the supporting technical and policy infrastructure required for broad commercialization of plug-in electric vehicles such as the upcoming Chevrolet Volt. GM described its approach at the Washington Auto Show.

Challenges that need to be addressed include consumer incentives to make this early technology more affordable; public and workplace charging infrastructure; consumer-friendly electricity rates and renewable electricity options; government and corporate vehicle purchases; supportive permitting and codes for vehicle charging; and other incentives such as high-occupancy-vehicle (HOV) lane access.

A partial draft checklist of stakeholders and enablers to help guide cities in making their regions plug-in friendly suggested by GM includes:

Draft Checklist for a Plug-in Ready City
Required Stakeholder Required Enablers
  • Dedicated Project Leader
  • Establish a public charging infrastructure plan;
  • Establish a local/state incentives plan;
  • Establish a marketing and educational outreach plan.
  • State Government
  • Provide state tax credit for vehicles ($2,500/16 kWh vehicle) and charging equipment and installation at home/multi-family home/workplace/public (up to $3,000/home; $30,000/other site with 10 charge ports)
  • Eliminate state sales tax on vehicle purchase;
  • Commit/fund government fleet purchases (200 vehicles).
  • City and County Governments
  • Clean Cities Orgs / AQMD
  • Provide incentives for vehicle purchasers (see above - $2,500/16 kWh vehicle) and charging equipment and installation (see above - up to $3,000/home; $30,000/other site with 10 charging ports)
  • Install public charging spots in key locations (30 distributed locations; meeting SAE J1772 level 2 (240V) charging standards and J2836);
  • Establish free parking;
  • Commit/fund government fleet purchases (25 high-profile vehicles).
  • DOT
  • Provide HOV lane access for plug-in vehicles;
  • Eliminate vehicle registration and license fees.
  • Permitting and Code Officials
  • Prepare for eased/fast/self permitting of home/public charging installation;
  • Ensure new home/building codes/major renovations provide for vehicle 240V charging.
  • Utilities (municipal and regional)
  • Regulators/Public Utility Commissions
  • Provide rebate for vehicle purchasers (see above - $2,500/16 kWh vehicle);
  • Provide and incentivize home/building charging installation electrical service (i.e. provide home wiring service at low/no-cost or financed thru low monthly utility bill);
  • Provide free charging or compelling low-cost EV rates (3-4 cents/kWh);
  • Provide “green” electricity options;
  • Commit/fund commercial fleet purchases (25 high-profile vehicles).
  • Large local employers (as early adopters)
  • Employers (3 major corporations) provide work-place charging (25 park/charge spots) and employee vehicle purchase incentives (add’l $2,500/vehicle);
  • Commit/fund corporate fleet purchases (25 vehicles)
  • Local Universities
  • Provide campus charging and free parking (10 distributed charging locations);
  • Commit/fund university fleet purchases (5 high-profile vehicles).

Also included in the stakeholder list are the early electric vehicle adopters themselves.

This list may need to evolve over time, but is a good starting point for these efforts and reflects the things we feel would most help accelerate the adoption of plug-in vehicles in the retail market.

—Britta Gross, GM, Fuel Cell Activities Manager, Hydrogen & Electrical Infrastructure Commercialization

General Motors is working with key stakeholders in San Francisco to develop these policies and enablers to accelerate the transition to plug-in electric vehicles. GM will undertake similar efforts around the country in communities such as Washington, D.C.

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 Mayor Gavin Newsom

GM currently has more than 30 prototype Volt extended range electric vehicles undergoing testing at GM’s Proving Ground in Milford, Mich. Last month at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, GM announced it will manufacture the Volt battery packs in the United States. (Earlier post.)

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.

—Ed Peper, GM North America vice president, Chevrolet

GM says it is working on plug-in commercialization on several other fronts. One is by working with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and a coalition of more than 40 utilities to solve challenges and accelerate the commercialization of plug-in electric vehicles. Another is playing a lead role in helping to create Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) standards for the vehicle charging interface.



I would have thought the main thing would be to provide workplace charging infrastructure.

The problem is should it be proactive or reactive - i.e. do we wait till someone buys a Volt to install a charger, or do we install them in the hope the Volts will come.

I would suggest a mixture of the two, whereby employers pledge that they will install charging stations (within N weeks) if someone actually buys a car and shows up with it.

Large companies, government and universities could sign up for this.

Otherwise, there will be dozens of charging stations with nothing to charge.

The government could assist with the cost of installing the first hundred or so till people got a feeling for how it would work.

[ I am assuming a Volt would include a home charging station ].

Then you have the problem of compatibility - can I charge my 2010 Prius at a Volt station - you had better be able to - or no federal money.


It shouldn't be hard for large local employers to pick up the cost of a 220V outlet - since most have electricians on staff and materials & labor should be under $250.00. The biggest contribution an employer can make is a commitment to PHEV fleets. This plan suggests 25 vehicles - a reasonable number for Fortune 500 companies.

If all these incentives were to be implemented it would be astounding:

$2500 from utilities for 16kWh pack
$2500 "early adopter" large employer
$2500 State tax credit per 16kWh pack
$7500 Federal tax credit " "

So, if you were to purchase a Volt and all these incentives applied, it would yield a $15k cash outlay for a 30k MSRP, or $25k for a $40k MSRP. A brand new PHEV at half price??? Who would say no?


Gm is a very dangerous state compagny proposing and mandating petrol use since long time. They made patents with hydrogen and batteries subsidized by goverment to bury them thereafter and prevent with patents suing anyone to enter this market. They even make fuel with useful products like wood chips and corn and are helping third world contries to cut the rain forests to make bio-fuel from palm and sugarcane. They are just communists working for corrupts goverments, especially u.s.a. They are the one causing the pollution all over the world with regulation mandating polluting petrol in every f*cking moving devises and electrical plants. I said to power everything with water electrolisers for no fuel cost nor pollutions nor 8 hours recharge time for batteries.


Its a bit more involved then a 220 volt outlet. For one thing you need to set up a payment thingy and all that so its likely fairly spendy and you likely would need several of them and they would need to be vandal proof and so on. Also its very likely they dont have a 220 volt power line anywhere near the parking lot...

To make matters worse is very likely some nitwit is gona make a law on the specs needed for such an outlet AFTER you spend the money to put in a bunch and thus force you to rip em out and rebuild em... several times.


A 220 volt outlet in the parking lot OUTSIDE In the RAIN with water dripping from the plug and little ponds collecting near the tires.

Good luck I'll be standing.........over there!!!


The line to remember here is; "plug-in electric vehicles SUCH AS the upcoming Chevrolet Volt" -meaning the plug-in infrastructure should NOT be restricted to the Volt. GM may get some advantage and kudos for being amoung the first to install a plug-in network but actively working against the other EV makers, by making it fit only their cars, would not be to their advantage.


The easiest way to pay would be with coins - like an old fashioned gas meter or parking meter.

The amounts are very small - if power is 25c / KwH, then $2 would get 8Kwh which should be plenty for a daily commute.

You could make it more expensive from 5-7 pm (or whatever) if U liked.

You might want a meter in the car to tell you how much power the battery can take.

You could negociate all this with protocols, but that would slow the whole thing up - better to let people deal with it themselves.

If they knew the power cost $1 / KWh from 5-7, they would use very little.

The trick is to keep the charging stations as simple as possible, just 220V, weatherproof, with some kind of payment facility, perhaps with a timer or delay.

The ultimate aim must be to get one global charging standard, or at least 1 / major trading block ( US, EU, China, India).


The point is that there is no way to make it waterproof, unless it is inside a building.


JosephT: Don't worry about that. Allow each nitwit that tries to plug in in the rain be fried. That reduces energy use and GHG in the long run and will eventually bring us to the point of only having people who know not to do that.
(That's a joke for those who can't recognize one.)


"there is no way to make it waterproof, unless it is inside a building"

And yet in rainy old Londontown they already have outside EV charging stations :)
The chargers, called Elektrobays, are open to unlimited used for anyone willing to pay an annual fee.

There are also EV charging stations outside in France.
And even if you don't have BEVs there is more than enough proof outside electrical outlets work just fine; any RV park will have them as will any marina. (And what's wetter than Dockside in Vancouver?)


To the people who question the ability to charge the car in the rain, sorry, but you're idiots. What are you envisioning here, just holding an electrically hot copper wire to the body of the car until it starts to smoke enough to know it's full?

It takes very little enginuity to solve the rain problem. I.E. a waterproof door over the charging port, a plug on the charging cord that latches onto the charging port (sealing with an o-ring to keep the connection dry) with prongs that extend automatically when the connection is made, a delay on the actual flow of current until the user has had time to not be holding onto the cord any more?

To put it into perspective, where I live it rains just about all the time, and when a welding job needs to be done, welding rigs pull right in at my plant and seriously high voltage/current work gets done just fine. With the right equipment, this is not a big deal.

As for GM and the Volt, they're asking a bit much. Not that I wouldn't like to see it, but just don't hold your breath. Besides, after watching the expected cost of these vehicles climb and climb above the original promise as the project developed, I started leaning more towards the idea of a pure EV anyway.

GM, cut a thousand pounds off that car and then we'll talk at that price.


Just as liquid fuel dispensers require maintenance checking the SAE J1772 will cover this.

Domestic appliance would not necessarily require the same schedule as owner monitoring along with the appropriate ELD and other safety features are probably sufficient.

If the thing plays up - call an electrician.
Assuming the leads will require more frequent inspection, a generic connection inside the pillar box could enable cable swaps in a similar way to (the popular) Welders lead outs.


Yes there are power plugs for use in the rain... They also do in fact tend to kill people from time to time that use em stupidly. Never underestimate the stupidity of a human.


Outside electrical outlets have been used for years in Canada to keep engines warm during the winter months.

If you're really paranoid an induction charger which requires no electrical contacts is also a possibility. It was developed some years ago for electric vehicle recharging.


Electrical fears in weather?? 99% electric transmission happens via exposed wiring and transformers on phone poles and high tension towers throughout the world. Non-issue.

Forgot to add in the plan's proposed elimination of registration and license fees for PEVs. Dependent on State these can come to $1k+. So our $30k MSRP Volt is now down to $14k cash outlay for a brand new car. With GMAC financing at 2-3% - this brand new PHEV with 40 mile AER is accessible to everyone buying a new car.

But we still hate em for the darn EV1 episode! Lousy %$#&^ astards!


Watch "Who killed the electric car?".

It wasn't just GM. It was the Cal. Air Resources Board, it was the dealer networks, it was the suppliers, it was the lawyers (probably #1, made GM paranoid they'd be sued).

Nobody is kicking themselves in the rear more than GM now. They had a twenty yr lead on everybody and thru it away. Reminds me of Xerox Parc giving away the GUI interface to Steve Jobs, instead of making millions$.



Actually PARC allowed Jobs to steal the ideas behind GUI. Many (too many) years later they tried to sue for infringement but the courts said the statute ran out.

OTOH, GM is well on their way to fully exploiting the failure and knowledge gained from the EV1 with a growing line of Voltec? powered hybrids. Unlike PARC, looks as though GM will use their EV1 experience to build a new business sector.

Of course we here at GCC, still hate the mo$#%fos!


I don't understand all this concern over getting electrocuted in the rain. We have smart electronics these days!!!! You can program the charger to not open the switch until it talks with the car and establishes that there is no short, and in everyone's bathroom there are these things in your wall plugs called GFCI's (ground fault circuit interrupters) which cut the power off before you get electrocuted so you could put the two live wires on your tongue if you wanted to.

Andrey Levin

“…you could put the two live wires on your tongue if you wanted to.”

Do not do it at home, Mark. GFCI do not interrupt short circuit. Only phase grounding.


Which still doesn't matter.  It's a very small detail to have the power conductors "cold" until the connector is fully seated, and then test for impedance to ground before closing the contacts.  If something is out of whack, you light up the red error LED and sound an alert for the fault.


Seems to me the cart here is way ahead of the horse. Until we see Volts, plumbing electricity is YEARS old technology. GET TO WORK EVERYONE!!!!

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