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Ford, utility ready to work on plug-in car
Automaker, Southern California Edison to unveil alliance in response to demand for energy-efficient vehicles.
July 6 2007: 11:24 PM EDT



DETROIT (Reuters) -- Ford Motor Co. and power utility Southern California Edison will announce an unusual alliance Monday aimed at clearing the way for a new generation of rechargeable electric cars, the companies said.

Ford Chief Executive Alan Mulally and Edison International Chief Executive John Bryson are scheduled to meet with reporters at Edison's headquarters in Rosemead, Calif., the companies said.

The two chief executives will announce a "joint initiative" that represents a first-of-its-kind tie-up between a major automaker and a major utility in the area of "plug-in" hybrid vehicle technology, representatives of both companies said.

Further details were not immediately available, but environmental advocates said the tie-up showed the momentum building for developing rechargeable hybrid vehicles as a way to reduce oil consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

Environmental advocates, particularly in California, have been pressing automakers to roll out such plug-in vehicles that would be capable of running on electricity for short distances and recharging at a standard electric outlet.

"I think they're all realizing that the handwriting is on the wall," said Sherry Boschert, a plug-in vehicle advocate and author.

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Rechargeable or plug-in hybrids will have their advantages for sure, once they are ready for the consumers. Until then, if you seek a green image then there is nothing cleaner overall than an E85 Mariner hybrid (my preference). There is a 25% improvement in emissions over the regular PZEV hybrids too. Ford is also currently working on it's 3rd generation of hybrids (current hybrids are 2nd gen, with some improvements over original) that will roll out early in 2008 and will have significant improvements over current gen, especially with all new powertrains. That is why there is such a long delay.
 
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