Plug-In-Ready Infrastructure May Be Chevrolet Volt’s Key to SuccessBy Cuong Huynh • Feb 3rd, 2009 • Category: Clean Car Talk Posts
Car manufacturers are soon to bring to market electric cars and plug-in cars. With competition heating up and new models announced, this is actually a real exciting time for the car industry and consumers alike. We all hope this trend will lead to a flourishing industry, help clean up the environment and reduce our independence on fossil fuel at the same time. But we can’t forget the single key element that will enable electric and plug-in cars to operate with any practicality: the support infrastructure.
Yes I’m talking about the plug-in stations that will help “fuel” these new vehicles coming on the road. It is not practical to expect consumers to only charge up their electric and plug-in cars at home during the night. Creative solutions will have to be implemented to allow recharging at any time during the working day. Driving for only 50-100 miles on a charge and charging only at night at home are not good enough. Consumers demand convenient charging places and times. Without this ability the electric and plug-in car industry will only progress on a slow growth path which makes it susceptible to complete collapse at any time. Without this ability the electric and plug-in car industry is not sustainable.
According to gm-volt.com website, important initiatives for Chevrolet Volt has already started. In the article “GM Announces Initiative to Get Communities “Plug-in Ready” for the Volt” there are a number of positive development happening in this electric car program. Ed Peper, manager of Chevrolet said “the Chevy Volt is truly coming to life, but preparing the market for electric vehicles also requires capable partners from outside the auto industry.”
There are many key stakeholders in this new campaign and they must all get intimately involved and work together. State, city and county governments; electric utilities; regulators/public utility commissions; permitting and code officials; Clean Cities coalitions; local employers; universities and community colleges; and last but not least, early electric vehicle adopters. These groups have to get together to address what could become the Achilles’ heel of electric and plug-in cars.
In terms of providing incentives to promote local consumer adoption, GM suggests the following:
- 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
- Other incentives such as high-occupancy-vehicle (HOV) lane access.
GM is also making a strong effort to push commercialization of plug-ins 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.
- Playing a lead role in helping to create Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) standards for the vehicle charging interface.
What’s do you think? Are there something else we’re missing that must be considered to help push the electric cars forward? Please share your opinions and comments below.
Cuong Huynh is a marketing communications consultant working in the San Diego area. Cuong is dedicated to helping individuals and companies maximize their presence on the Internet and efficiently take products and services to market through SEO and network marketing. Cuong also maintains a blog on Marketing at marketingautopsyblog.com. You can also find Cuong Huynh's profile on LinkedIn. For fun he maintains a blog on Vietnamese pho, soccer and do storyboards for movie and film projects. Follow Cuong on Twitter @CuongHuynh, @LovingPho, @CleanCarTalk, @BlockbusterFilm, @SoccerUSA.
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