US move to promote plug-in cars

WASHINGTON — A partnership of cities, municipal utilities and
organizations — including the cities of Los Angeles and Irvine — kicked
off a national campaign Tuesday urging automakers to build plug-in
hybrid vehicles.

This next-generation type of “green” transportation uses an
additional battery to boost mileage and allows drivers to plug their
gasoline-electric cars into standard electrical outlets for recharging.

The technology is designed to appeal to urban commuters who routinely travel relatively short distances in heavy traffic.

Once charged, the hybrid relies solely on electricity for 25 to 35
miles or more and can achieve fuel efficiency exceeding 80 miles per
gallon. That makes the vehicle ideal for city travel, where stop-and-go
and slow-moving traffic is common.

“It’s 95% the same car,” said Edward Kjaer of Southern California
Edison. “You’re just putting a new battery and charger on board.”

Austin, Texas, will lead the effort by purchasing 600 of the hybrids when they become commercially available.

Full story LA Times  

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