DALLAS - Despite numerous attempts, the U.S. has never successfully transitioned to an alternative-fuel vehicle technology.  Britta Gross, director, global energy systems and infrastructure commercialization
for General Motors posed the following question for conference attendees during her keynote presentation on Oct. 4 - "What do we need to do to successfully transition away from our total reliance on petroleum in transportation?" Her answer? "Everything possible."

To explain, she discussed issues including perceived limited vehicle functionality, infrastructure challenges, and the financial perils of moving through the protracted transition period, which have caused earlier efforts to fizzle.

However, Gross noted that the Chevrolet Volt, with its innovative technology, "may just be our best bet yet to move an alt-fuel technology through the early adopters and into the mainstream market."

Fleets will play a critical role in driving scale and making this technology and other alt-fuel technologies more affordable and thus viable for mainstream markets. Though everyone agrees this is the direction we must go, the task is daunting.