GM, Utilities Join to Speed Plug-Ins

Three-dozen utilities agree to help integrate electric cars with their grids
By Clay Dillow,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 22, 2008 11:49 AM CDT
The Chevy Volt is on display during the Chevrolet news conference at the New York International Auto Show Wednesday, March 19, 2008.    (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
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(Newser) – General Motors and three dozen electric utilities in nearly 40 states have agreed to work together on the transition to plug-in electric vehicles that are expected to begin rolling out within 2 years, the Wall Street Journal reports. With GM’s Chevy Volt and Saturn Vue  expected to hit the market first, cooperation is needed to make sure recharging cars don't overwhelm the power grid.

The utilities and GM will sync intelligence, allowing car and grid to recognize each other and charge at the most efficient times. Off-peak recharging could make grids more efficient by utilizing excess capacity at night to charge tens of millions of cars. The  Volt is expected to run for 40 miles before the gasoline engine kicks in; with daily recharge, it could top 600 miles on a single tank of gas.