Infrastructure & Standards for Plug-In Vehicles
While making an infrastructure to charge plug-in vehicles (plug-in hybrids and battery electric cars) is a lot easier than making an infrastructure for hydrogen-powered vehicles (like the Honda FCX Clarity), it still requires some planning and coordination. You don't want each player to create its own standard that isn't compatible with the others, making it impossible for electric car owners to plug in their cars for a charge or to use advanced features.
That's why GM, along with the nonprofit Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and 30+ electric utilities from 37 US states and from Canada have formed a coalition to address these issues.
Raising Plug-In Car Awareness, Safety
The coalition wants to make plug-in cars higher profile and make sure that the general public understand what they are, how they work and what the benefits are, but it also wants to work on more technical things like ensuring safe and convenient vehicle charging and make universal technical standards. They also need to make sure that the grid will be able to support those cars (though according to at least one study, plug-ins might not need new power plants, at least not at first.
If this collaboration is truly open and well-intentioned, lets hope that other carmakers and utilities will join so that the introduction of plug-in vehicles won't be delayed by standards wars (like Betamax vs. vhs, or Blu Ray vs. HD-DVD, with consumers waiting for a winner to emerge). Of course it wouldn't be quite as bad as with media formats, but it could still cause problems and delays.
Plug-in Hybrids and Electric Cars
Google Invests in Aptera Motors and Lithium-Ion Battery Maker AtaCell
Martin Eberhard Blogs About Getting his Tesla Roadster
Fisker Karma to be Made in Finland by Valmet Automotive
Plug-in Hybrids Might not Need New Power Plants
More on the Plug-on Coalition
GM and Electric Utility Industry Launch Collaboration in Support of Commercializing Plug-in Vehicles
GM Works With Utilities On Plug-Ins