Plug In, Drive

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Chevy Voly electric carThe evolution of hybrid cars will be plug-in hybrids. In the coming years (I can’t use the word “soon” because 2010 looks to be the earliest the cars will be available to the general public.), automakers will bring “plug-in technology to the mainstream.”

As the name implies, the batteries of plug-in vehicles can be charged by plugging them in like you do with your cell phone. These cars can then run for a limited number of miles just on the batteries.

The Chevrolet Volt has gotten the most buzz. Not just for the technology, but for the styling as well – I’m one of many who hopes the production vehicle doesn’t differ too much from the concept car. The Volt is not a hybrid. It will run entirely on the electricity stored in the batteries. A small gasoline engine will keep the batteries charged rather than provide power to the drive train.

In addition to the Volt, General Motors has plans for a plug-in hybrid Vue. Like the Prius, this car will be powered by a gasoline engine with assistance provided by electric motors. GM is aiming for 2010 (same time frame as the Volt) for the plug-in version of the Vue to hit the market.

Other plug-in hybrids in the works are the Ford Escape, Toyota 1/X concept, and Toyota Prius plug-in.

Source: CNNMoney

Tag(s): Cars and Transportation

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