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Click above for high-res gallery of the 2011 Chevy Volt

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The U.S. (California in particular) is a leader in installing a smart grid, so vital to getting the most out of charging electric vehicles in a cheap and more green way. California may be leading, but they are certainly not running alone. There's Boulder, for one. And we covered the UK's pricey discussion earlier this month. Now Michael Setters, the director of Smart Electric News, puts the broader European efforts into perspective.

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Break out the celebratory bubbly! GridPoint and Duke Energy have a milestone to celebrate and it has nothing to do with basketball.

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While smart meters will provide a lot of benefits to pretty much everyone who uses electricity - whether they charge an electric car at night or not - the cost of swapping out everyone's current meter with one that communicates with the grid won't be cheap. In the U.S., California is taking the lead on installing smart meters. Over in the UK, energy companies and the government are taking a look at the potential installation costs and have found that this won't be a cheap process.

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A while back we told you Excel energy was to conduct a study with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and others to asses what would happen if, using vehicle to grid (V2G) technology, you plugged thousands of PHEVs and different energy sources, such as solar and wind, into the grid and made them work together. They must have been happy with the results because today it was announced that they, along with a whole consortium of partners, are ready to begin the implementation phase. Ame

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Studies have been performed that indicate that there is enough excess electricity already being produced to charge a nation of electric cars. One hitch to that plan, though, is that it requires people to charge their vehicles while they sleep, during "off-peak" hours. For this reason, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory ran some numbers and found that the worst-case daytime charging scenario could require up to 160 new power plants to be erected nationwide. Their projected best-case scenario inclu

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Plug-in electric vehicles obviously aren't very common right now but if they do become widespread the stability of the electrical grid could become a major issue. Although analysts expect most EVs to be plugged in at night when electrical demand is typically lower, it's inevitable that we will see daytime plug-ins as well, particularly for drivers who have longer commutes and access to a socket at work. The Michigan Public Service Commission that oversees and regulates utilities in the state is

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Long-term, the automotive propulsion future belongs to either pure electric cars or hydrogen-powered vehicles. On this, most of us can agree. How and when and all sorts of other nit-picky details will take about as long to work as it does for Apple to release this dang SDK for the iPhone. One important step along the way will be the rollout of a smart grid, an enhanced version of the current power grid where our houses and cars can talk to the grid in various ways.

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