To kick off the 2010 Business of Plugging In expo in style, General Motors announced a big push for electric vehicle chargers that will help give the 2011 Chevrolet Volt models plenty of electric juice as they sit in parking spots around Michigan, including right in front of GM's world headquarters in downtown Detroit.
GM vice chairman Tom Stephens was on hand to plug in a white Volt on a crisp and sunny afternoon as part of the announcement that more than 5,300 home and workplace charging stations will be installed in Michigan in the coming years. The numbers break down with 2,500 installed by both DTE Energy and Consumers Energy, with GM installing around 350 more on various properties it owns around the state. Two stations are already operable in front of the Renaissance Center, and there are over 100 more already installed. By the end of next week, the RenCen will sport 18 stations. Even with all of these public chargers dotting the landscape, Stephens said that, "We feel that the home charging station is the most important, the second most important would be able to charge at work."
Stephens would not say exactly when the first customer will take delivery of the first Volt, except that it will happen when the vehicle passes all of GM's quality production standards. Most likely, this will happen next month or possibly December. "It's whenever we complete that process," he said. "I would hope it would not take into January," he said in response to a reporter's question about the timeline.
The RenCen charging station, from ChargePoint, will be able to handle any modern electric vehicle, so we're starting our stopwatches now to see how long it takes someone to snap a photo of a Nissan Leaf or Tesla Roadster charging in front of GM's iconic HQ.