• Oct 15, 2010
2011 Chevrolet Volt plugs in at the RenCen – Click above for high-res image gallery

It's a good idea, General Motors placing EV charging outlets free to the public outside its Renaissance Center Headquarters. Two stations are already operable in front of the RenCen, and there are over 100 more already installed in other properties owned by the automaker. By the end of next week, the RenCen will sport 18 stations. The RenCen charging station, from ChargePoint, will be able to handle any modern electric vehicle.

The automaker used the 2010 Business of Plugging In expo to announce that more than 5,300 home and workplace charging stations will be installed in Michigan in the coming years. We certainly think this is a good way to take advantage of the 2011 Chevrolet Volt's arrival.

The plant the builds the Volt, Detroit Hamtramck, will get ten solar-powered charging stations. Those will be available to employees only, and since the UAW doesn't allow imports on its lots there won't be any risk of Leafs trying to bogart some electrons. Check out the full press release after the break.

[Source: General Motors]
Show full PR text
Michigan Readies as the U.S. Prepares for Electric Vehicles
More than 5,300 home and workplace charging stations to be installed in Michigan

DETROIT – More than 5,300 home and workplace charging stations are planned to be installed in Michigan as the state prepares for the introduction of new electric vehicle technology. General Motors and its partners are teaming up to help give Chevrolet Volt buyers more options for charging their vehicles.

DTE Energy pledges to install 2,500 240V home charging stations for plug-in vehicles, and Consumers Energy is matching that pledge. The utilities will cover up to $2,500 of the cost of the charging station and installation. GM's Voltec 240 V home charging station is priced at just $490 plus an estimated $1,475 for installation. The city of Lansing Board of Water and Light will provide an additional 25 charging stations to its customers and by the end of 2011, General Motors plans to have almost 350 charging stations in place for employees at its facilities in Michigan, with more than 100 already installed.

In addition, more than 1,500 Chevrolet dealers across the U.S. plan to install charging stations for use by customers. This number includes nearly 650 dealers that will soon begin selling the Volt in retail launch markets and approximately 900 others across the country that are authorized to provide service.

More important than the total volume of charging stations is where they will be located, according to Tom Stephens, GM vice chairman, Global Product Operations. "Since our homes may soon be our fueling stations of the future we believe the most important way to make communities 'plug-in ready' is by enabling residential charging."

Most of these stations will be placed in consumers' garages, carports and driveways. A few will be strategically located, such as the two GM placed in front of its headquarters at the Renaissance Center at the building's entrance off of Jefferson Ave in Detroit. A total of 18 charging stations will be operational in and around the Renaissance Center within the next week.

"We think this opens up doors for those Volt owners who want to charge at work or who don't have a place at home to charge the car overnight. They'll be able to drive electrically when they can, and they can drive on gasoline when they need to," Stephens said in remarks at the Business of Plugging In Conference in Detroit on Tuesday. "We see these stations as an incentive to our employees to join the Electric Vehicle movement ... and as a demonstration to other businesses to encourage their own employees to drive greener."

GM-installed charging stations for use by its employees in Michigan will include 34 at the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly center where the Volt is built and 140 in the homes of employees driving early-build models for quality evaluation.

Many of the stations at GM facilities will be powered by renewable solar energy. The Detroit-Hamtramck assembly center already has 10 stations in place powered by photovoltaic systems from SunLogics Inc. Envision Solar International will provide its innovative Solar Tree® with EnvisionTrak™ system for use at the Warren Technical Center and Milford Proving Ground.

GM envisioned the need for public and workplace charging stations in 2007 when it formed a collaboration with DTE, Consumers Energy, the Electric Power Research Institute and more than 50 other utilities. Many of those utilities are or will be launching similar programs to help customers prepare for electrification.

Michigan is one of nine regions in the United States identified by the U.S. Department of Energy to lead the electrification movement. Free home charging stations provided by ECOtality and Coulomb Technologies will be available to 4,400 eligible Volt owners through a program funded by the DOE.

"We've put a lot of thought into the best way to enhance the electric vehicle experience," Stephens said. "We've focused on everything from vehicle-to-grid technical interfaces, codes and standards to leading consumer education and outreach."

In fact, the Society of Engineers-approved industry standard for charging equipment was led by a GM engineer. And GM's Opel subsidiary recently announced a vehicle-to-grid experiment in Germany involving a battery electric version of the Opel Meriva.

About General Motors – General Motors, one of the world's largest automakers, traces its roots back to 1908. With its global headquarters in Detroit, GM employs 208,000 people in every major region of the world and does business in more than 120 countries. GM and its strategic partners produce cars and trucks in 31 countries, and sell and service these vehicles through the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, FAW, GMC, Daewoo, Holden, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling. GM's largest national market is China, followed by the United States, Brazil, Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Italy. GM's OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. General Motors acquired operations from General Motors Corporation on July 10, 2009, and references to prior periods in this and other press materials refer to operations of the old General Motors Corporation. More information on the new General Motors can be found at www.gm.com.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      On WHOSE DIME?

      Who is paying for all this magnanimous power service?

      Are their cars that over-priced, or is this still government money that they are spending?

      Either way, GM continues to have a lack of focus on what they should be doing. BUILDING BETTER CARS AT BETTER PRICES.

      If they are using taxpayer dollars, that is adding injury to insult.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Quit your damn crying already. They took your dime, and you can't do a damn about. You cry about them being late to the hybrid game, and you cry when they show initiative.

        BAH WAH WAH!! is all you people ever do.

        You do know that there was a time when there was only ONE gas station on the entire planet? Everything starts at one. It would be a lot easier to sell hybrids (Volts) and other electric cars, if the infrastructure to support is there.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "Quit your damn crying already. "

        Seriously BoxerFanatic, you are constantly whining and crying on this blog. I have never seen someone write in all caps so much. If you can learn to let the stuff you can't control roll off your back, you'll be a happier person.
      • 4 Years Ago
      With GM planning on selling 40,000 of these over the next two years, I hope they are also planning on installing more chargers. And in areas other than Michigan.
      Sure people can charge at home, but free always draws a crowd and it shows GM's commitment to the product.
        • 4 Years Ago
        If you have an electric car, you want charge stations to be as plentiful as gas stations.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Why don't they setup some chargers at every dealership? Doesn't even have to be free.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The UAW doesn't allow "imports" on its lots? No wonder the cars they were building got so bad for a few decades there. None of them even looked at all the better cars out there, because they wouldn't be able to drive them to work anyway.

      The day any job of mine tells me what make of car I'm allowed to drive is the last day I work that job. I'm all for taking pride in your work and your company, but my employer controlling how I spend the money I'm paid is taking it way too far.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "The day any job of mine tells me what make of car I'm allowed to drive is the last day I work that job."

        Exactly. You're free to work anywhere you want just as they're free to prevent anyone and anything they please from entering their property. Freedom - it's what makes America great!
        • 4 Years Ago
        If you can't beat 'em, make it so that you don't have to look at 'em.

        Not that American-made cars can't compete with those from other countries, I just think not allowing the competition on your property is a comically childish rule.
      • 4 Years Ago
      With GM planning on selling 40,000 of these over the next two years, I hope they are also planning on installing more chargers. And in areas other than Michigan.
      Sure people can charge at home, but free always draws a crowd and it shows GM's commitment to the product.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Dang double post feature!
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