By: SGN Staff

Changes are coming fast and furious for everyone involved in the Smart Grid industry. Staying current can be the biggest challenge of all. Today we're introducing the first in a series of monthly theme issues; each will focus on an important topic or trend that is critical to the buildout of the Smart Grid. The transition to electric vehicles is today's subject and we've loaded up this issue with the latest developments, research, and expert opinion plus links to smart blogs and other useful web resources. And hey, we've got videos too!

Autos with Plugs: The Ecstasy ... and Hurry-Up-and-Wait Agony

It’s fair to say the auto industry - with a nudge from the feds - is finally embracing the era of plug-in hybrids and even the real-deal pure electric vehicles. Manufacturers are trotting out some dazzling next-generation cars at the auto shows. But don’t be fooled. Gas-guzzlers won’t disappear from our roadways any time soon. Learn why delivery dates, sticker prices and ‘range anxiety’ will keep EV adoption in the slow lane (but worth waiting for).

Batteries: They Make EVs Go ... But It’s Not as Simple as It Seems

Hard to believe batteries have been causing such a ruckus, but they're what make all-electric (EV) and hybrid (HEV) cars run. Some very smart people think the whole EV push is a massive waste of time and others see it as technology that can help save the environment and give us energy independence. Click for a look at the most promising battery technology and what it could mean for just about everyone.

Charged Up: Early EV Enthusiasts Will Find a Way

The average Joe who thinks EVs are a good idea but isn’t absolutely passionate may hold off plunking down money for one until battery charging ease and convenience are firmly established. But a study done for New York City suggests a dense charging network may not be necessary for early adopters. Click inside for more on that, plus a recap of the latest developments on the EV charging front.

Distribution Side: Grid Needs to Plan for Plug-in Vehicles

Later this year the first of the mass-market plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles will be arriving in driveways across the U.S. But as analyst John Gartner of Pike Research details in this exclusive report, grid operators and companies involved in vehicle charging still have a lot of work to do to maximize their benefit and minimize their detriment.

Smart Grid Lite: Is a Simple Grid a Better Grid?

The Smart Grid has turned into a chimera (or Frankenstein if you prefer), a conglomeration and integration of many extremely complex and different communications and IT technologies and hardware. CMEA Capital's Maurice Gunderson argues that simple is better and makes the case that turning EVs into day traders by using their batteries as backup for the electric grid adds yet another layer of unnecessary and potentially expensive complexity.

Volt On-Star IPhone/Blackberry/Android App Makes Cars Smarter

If you're an app addict, Alex Zheng says there's lots to like about the Chevy Volt's new On-Star application for smart phones. He says the Volt is pushing the technology envelope. See why.

Glossary of EV Terms and Acronyms

What's the meaning of it all? Use this quick electric vehicle glossary to know your AFVs from your ZEVS.