During Bob Lutz's keynote speech kicking off the LA Auto Show this morning, he announced that GM would bring a fleet of 100 Chevy Volts to California in late 2010. GM will partner with Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE), the Sacremento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) for this real-world test that is intended to help figure out what sort of charging network is needed in an area to help automakers introduce plug-in cars. Over 500 charging stations will be installed as part of the program. "This program will determine the best methods to accommodate an expanding fleet of electric vehicles from all OEMs," Lutz said. "This extended real-world study will allow us to make electric vehicles as good as they can be for our customers."
The U.S. DOE is providing a matching grant worth over $30 million for this program, and will get user data for their money. OnStar will provide feedback on how the Volts are used to GM, and GM will relay this data to the DOE. This program does not mean that the first Volts will be used only for fleets. The first customer deliveries are still scheduled to happen at around the same time. We'll have a more complete report on Lutz's speech up soon.

Our travel and lodging for this media event were paid for by the Auto Alliance.

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