Utilities are expected to install millions of "smart meters" at homes
James Pethokoukis - REUTERS
- July 1, 2009
We keep talking but delivery still appears to be the kind of stuff dreams are made of. --Ed.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Under pressure to deliver sharply higher fuel economy in coming years, U.S. automakers are deepening ties with electric utilities as rechargeable cars move from the drawing board and head toward the dealership.
Both the embattled auto industry and the utilities are retooling and both industries have a stake in the success of the growing effort to deliver electric-powered vehicles to U.S. consumers.
Such plug-in and pure electric vehicles are projected to play a key role in allowing automakers to meet an aggressive U.S. fuel-economy target for 35 miles to the gallon for passenger cars by 2016.
The million plug-ins that the Obama administration wants on the road before those standards take effect could also serve as a reserve source of power to an overstretched electric grid, particularly if owners plug in at night.
Those battery-powered cars are also a potentially new source of electricity demand, and U.S. automakers and utilities are using existing alliances to test new marketing ideas for the technology.... [Read More]