Buried within a GreenCarCongress article on Ford’s attendance at the recent Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability conference are some comments made by Niel Golightly, Ford’s Director of Sustainable Business Strategies, about plug-in hybrids. Golightly admits that Ford is investigating the technology that allows hybrids to achieve even greater fuel economy, but cautions there are three obstacles that must be overcome before it could see production: battery life, warranty coverage and safety.

A Ford representative, however, revealed to GreenCarCongress that “the message [about plug-in hybrids] is coming through loud and clear.” When asked about plug-in hybrid conversions being performed on Escape Hybrids by HyMotion, the representative stated “we encourage our customers to be creative with our cars.”

Is there a skunk-works plug-in hybrid program operating over at Ford? Perhaps. Toyota has aleady publicly stated that a plug-in Prius will not happen, which leaves the door open for Ford to swoop in and steal some of the green limelight.