100 MPG Hybrids Coming to the Carolinas

Official press release of the Plug-In Hybrid Coalition of the Carolinas.

Published: 17-Jul-2007

Charleston, SC – The Plug-In Hybrid Coalition of the Carolinas will take delivery of its first plug-in hybrid July 23rd. The prototype is a vehicle that combines today’s hybrid technology with larger batteries and the ability to charge from a standard outlet. This results in a vehicle achieving 100 miles per gallon for city driving while reducing emissions 30%-60%.

“We are thrilled to show technology exists that will significantly improve air quality, reduce greenhouse gases, and lessen our dependence on foreign oil,” noted Jim Poch, Executive Director of the Coalition. Poch added that when bio-fuels such as ethanol are combined with plug-in hybrid technology, the use of foreign oil is virtually eliminated.

The coalition is a grassroots effort of civic, business, and environmental leaders urging automakers to move plug-in hybrid technology from prototype to production. More than 50 plug-in hybrid prototypes have been deployed since 2004, including two plug-in hybrid school buses in Raleigh and Charlotte, N.C. Toyota and General Motors have suggested commercial availability of the vehicles in 2010.

The coalition receives support from area utilities including SCE&G, Progress Energy and Duke Energy. Bob Long, general manager of corporate planning for SCE&G, explains the opportunity. “Government studies have shown our nation has enough off-peak electricity to power 84 percent of the nation's passenger and light duty truck fleet. Since the vehicles reduce emissions and lower fuel costs, we think plug-ins present a winning combination for consumers, the environment, and the utility industry.” 

Lloyd Yates, president and CEO of Progress Energy Carolinas, emphasizes the importance of this revolutionary technology in relation to future energy needs. "Meeting the energy needs of the future requires a balanced solution, one that includes alternative projects like these plug-in hybrids. We are excited about the coalition's work and we look forward to learning more about the promise of these vehicles." 

Beginning in August, the coalition will partner with the Coastal Conservation League and other environmental groups to tour major cities in the Carolinas. By the end of this year, twelve similar prototypes are expected to be on the road from supporting organizations of the coalition.

“We are excited to help showcase this technology," said Dana Beach, Coastal Conservation League Director. "Anything that improves air quality and reduces greenhouse gases is urgently needed.”

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