GM Partners With Utility Companies on Electric Cars’ Future

GM has joined with more than 30 utility companies across the U.S. to help work out electricity issues that will happen when it releases its new electric vehicles in about two years, reports the AP and USA Today.

The partnership includes the Electric Vehicle Research Institute and large utilities such as Southern California Edison and Duke Energy. They will deal with issues from tax incentives for the vehicles to where and when they can be plugged in for recharging.

GM’s Chevrolet Volt rechargeable car should be in showrooms in late 2010. It will run on an electric motor powered by lithium-ion batteries. When fully charged, the Volt can go 40 miles on battery power. For longer trips, a small internal combustion engine will recharge the batteries to keep the Volt going.

Chevrolet Volt

"This vehicle is real. It’s coming into production," said Britta Gross, a GM engineer who is helping to build the infrastructure for cars of the future. "We know that when the vehicle is in the showroom and ready for sale, it’s got to work seamlessly with the infrastructure. It’s the whole picture. We’ve got to make sure the infrastructure is ready."

The group, Gross said, likely will seek government tax incentives for buyers because of the benefits the car brings to society, such as lowered greenhouse gas emissions and reduced dependence on foreign oil.

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