Washington, DC, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — February 9, 2009 – A plan of action to help communities get ready for plug-in electric vehicles has been outlined by General Motors.

Speaking at the Washington Auto Show, Ed Peper, GM North America vice president, Chevrolet, said that the challenges that need to be addressed include consumer incentives to make this early technology more affordable, public and workplace charging infrastructure, consumer friendly electricity rates and renewable electricity options, government and corporate vehicle purchases, supportive permitting and codes for vehicle charging, and other incentives such as high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane access.

GM is working with key stakeholders, including governments, utilities, regulators and others, in cities such as San Francisco to develop policies and enablers to accelerate the transition to plug-in electric vehicles. GM will undertake similar efforts around the country in communities such as Washington, DC.

“Collaborating with communities such as San Francisco and metropolitan areas such as Washington, DC – where there’s already an interest in plug-in vehicles – is another important step toward raising customer awareness of the environmental and economic benefits of vehicles such as the Volt,” said Peper.

The Chevrolet Volt is due to hit the market next year. Currently, more than 30 prototype vehicles powered by lithium-ion battery packs are undergoing rigorous testing at GM’s proving ground in Milford, MI.

“The Chevy Volt is truly coming to life, but preparing the market for electric vehicles also requires capable partners from outside the auto industry,” said Peper. “Momentum is building as governments, technology companies, communities and universities are increasingly working together to prepare the market for electric vehicles.”

Meanwhile Ford also recently announced new details on its electric vehicle strategy, including the addition of new utility and research partners to its test program. The new partners that will join Ford and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) to conduct real-world tests on an expanding fleet of Ford Escape vehicles are New York Power Authority, Consolidated Edison, American Electric Power, Alabama Power and its parent, Southern Company, Progress Energy, DTE Energy, National Grid and the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority.

The program will study regional differences and the impact on the electric grid as well as the vehicles.