Palo Alto, California – California’s Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) has announced a research and development collaboration with General Motors and 34 utilities, including some in Canada, to facilitate integration of plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles (PHEVs) into the grid, a key step in providing an alternative to petroleum fuels.

“The EPRI-GM-utility effort is the result of many years of work by EPRI and its members to advance plug-in hybrids and related infrastructure technology to a point of feasible implementation and eventual commercialization,” said Arshad Mansoor, EPRI’s vice-president of Power Delivery and Utilization. “Seamless integration of PHEVs into the electric grid will require close collaboration between the automobile and electric sectors.”

The collaboration was announced in San Jose at the Plug-In 2008 Conference, a three-day convention that explores technical advances, challenges and market research on electric transportation. The collaborative will also address issues that ensure safe and convenient vehicle charging, public education, and public policy requirements to enable a smooth introduction of PHEVs as a transportation alternative to conventional vehicles.

“Electrically-powered vehicles are going to provide tremendous benefit and excitement for the customer, while also hastening the move to a more diverse choice of energy alternatives,” said Jon Lauckner, GM vice-president of Global Programs. “But we know that there are some key elements that need to be understood and put in place, so customers can enjoy those benefits and get maximum use of these vehicles when we bring them to market. That’s why this relationship with EPRI and the utility partners is so important.”

Canadian participants in the collaboration include BC Hydro, Hydro-Quebec and Manitoba Hydro.

 

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