Plug-in hybrids remain a mysteriously contentious issue with automakers, despite the fact the public and many non-profit and for-profit organizations are pushing for the technology's mainstream adoption. At Ford's annual shareholder's meeting Bill Ford responded to a question about plug-in hybrids by saying "We have nothing to announce today, but yes, we are keenly looking at it." You may remember we foresaw Ford considering the technology earlier when Niel Golightly, Ford's Director of Sustainable Business Strategies, admitted the company was considering the technology.

Hybridcars has posted a three-page letter sent to Bill Ford by Prof. Andrew Frank of UC Davis, the inventor of the plug-in hybrid, and Felix Kramer, founder of the non-profit California Cars Initiative, beseeching the man and his company to endorse the group's research and development of a plug-in Ford Escape Hybrid. You can read the letter here.

Again, Ford could score major PR points by being the first to mass market a plug-in hybrid. An Escape that could achieve 100+ mpg would certainly be front page news.

Many are speculating that liability concerns are what's keeping automakers at bay. Safety issues surrounding more batteries that are larger being stored onboard, the potential for sparks near gasoline vapor and even drivers pulling away with the car plugged in could be of particular concern.

[Source: HybridCars.com]