Groups Petition DOE on Plug-In Hybrids

Friends of the Earth and the Center for Biological Diversity today made a major push for plug-in hybrid electric cars, petitioning the Department of Energy to allow federal and state agencies to purchase plug-ins and count them as alternative-fuel vehicles under the Energy Policy Act

Published: 25-Jan-2007

Plug-in cars, those hybrid or electric cars that can plug into household electricity to "fill-up" are considered by many to be a critical component in reducing imported oil use, global warming and pushing wider adoption of electric car technology.

Reducing energy use to slow global warming is suddenly at the top of the nation's agenda. Because emissions from vehicles sold in the United States account for six percent of global greenhouse-gas emissions, creating a market for alternative-fuel cars is a crucial part of any plan to curb climate change. Friends of the Earth and the Center for Biological Diversity today made a major push for plug-in hybrid electric cars, petitioning the Department of Energy to allow federal and state agencies to purchase plug-ins and count them as alternative-fuel vehicles under the Energy Policy Act. The move would create an instant market for these cars.

The fuel efficiency of plug-in hybrids can be dramatic, with the potential to achieve nearly 100 miles per gallon equivalent while reducing emissions and saving consumers money. Plug-ins come equipped with batteries that consumers charge at night with cheap, domestically produced electricity, allowing all-electric driving in ranges of 20 to 60 miles. These cars are plug-and-play, meaning the only infrastructure needed is a standard power cord that plugs into existing electrical outlets. Consumers can run the cars on gasoline for longer trips.

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