GM, Utilities Plan Recharge Network for Volt

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Byline: Adam Satariano and Greg Bensinger Bloomberg News

General Motors Corp. will work with more than 30 U.S. electric utilities on a network for customers to easily recharge its Volt plug-in hybrid when the car debuts in late 2010 as part of a push for more fuel-efficient models.

The automaker is collaborating with power companies such as American Electric Power Co., Duke Energy Corp. and PG&E Corp. on universal technical standards for charging the plug-in automobile that will get its energy from a wall outlet and drive 40 miles on a single charge, executives from Detroit-based GM said at a presentation Monday in San Jose, Calif.

GM, Ford Motor Co. and other automakers are rushing to add more smaller, fuel-efficient models as high gasoline prices cause customers to shift away from the pickups, SUVs and vans that are the bulk of the U.S.-based companys sales. The Volt also is an important part of GM Chief Executive Officer Rick Wagoners plan to close a technology gap with Toyota Motor Corp. …