General Motors today outlined a comprehensive plan of action at the Washington Auto Show to help communities get ready for plug-in hybrid vehicles such as its upcoming Chevrolet Volt. The carmaker revealed that it plans to collaborate with communities such as San Francisco and Washington, D.C., where it has already received strong interest for plug-in hybrid vehicles.

The plan is to develop policies and enablers to accelerate the transition to plug-in hybrid vehicles, working closely with local governments, electric utilities, universities, and city planners. One of the first hurdles is to make sure the charging infrastructure will be available to support these vehicles as soon as they are ready for sale. The Volt, for example, is expected to roll in late next year.

Other challenges that need to be addressed include consumer incentives to make this early technology more affordable, consumer-friendly electricity rates, renewable electricity options, government and corporate vehicle purchases, and other incentives such as high-occupancy-vehicle (HOV) lane access.

Other localities working on their own policies to smooth the introduction of plug-in hybrid vehicles include San Jose and Oakland, both of which have announced a plan for plug-in hybrid infrastructure and incentives.