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Ford Escape plug-in hybrid – Click above for high-res image gallery

Wrightspeed X1 – Click above to watch video after the jump

Chevrolet Volt – click above for high-res image gallery

A United States Senate bill that would provide a further $3.6 billion in funding for plug-in vehicles has made it past the first of many hurdles toward passage. The Senate Energy Committee approved the legislation, put forward by Senator Byron Dorgan, (D-ND) that would create so-called deployment communities around the country and subsidize the purchase of electric vehicles (EVs) and the installation of infrastructure.

MSU's award winning EcoCAR towing test equipment - Click above to watch video after the jump

Battery manufacturer Electrovaya has begun shipping lithium ion battery packs to Chrysler for its test fleet of plug-in hybrid Ram pickup trucks. Chrysler is building 140 trucks based on the two-mode hybrid system that was co-developed with General Motors. A non-plug version of the hybrid Ram was due to go into production this fall, but Chrysler canceled the program in March citing slow sales of other similar vehicles (that would be the Chevy Silverado/GMC Sierra hybrids).

Suzuki Swift PHEV – Click above for high-res image gallery

2010 Plug-in Prius Prototype – Click above for high-res image gallery

Don Hillebrand understands electric vehicles and their benefits and limitations. As the director of the Center for Transportation Research at the Argonne National Laboratory, he has done plenty of testing on all kinds of alternative drive vehicles. Speaking to the Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress on Wednesday, Hillebrand acknowledged that despite advances in lithium ion technology, battery electric vehicles still have not evolved far enough to capture a significant share of the mai

Honda Insight – Click above for high-res image gallery

2011 Chevrolet Volt – Click above for high-res image gallery

2011 Chevrolet Volt – Click above for high-res image gallery

We've been chronicling the world of more efficient vehicles for almost four years now, but we're still the new kind on the block compared to long-time organizations like CalCars and that group's leader, Felix Kramer. At a recent meeting of the Electric Auto Association (of which CalCar is also a chapter) in Palo Alto, CA, Kramer took a look back at what CalCar has accomplished over the last eight years or so and, in doing so, created a slide show of the recent history of the plug-in vehicle move

SEAT IBEconcept – Click above for high-res image gallery

At the Geneva Motor Show, Peugeot has announced that one year after it introduces its first diesel hybrid based on the 3008 crossover, it will launch a plug-in version of the same vehicle. The 3008 will be the first vehicle to use the PSA-developed Hybrid4 system and, unless someone like Mercedes pulls a surprise later this year, it may be the first production diesel hybrid if it launches as scheduled early next year.

Ford Transit Connect Electric – Click above for high-res image gallery

Ford Transit Connect Electric – Click above for high-res image gallery

Kia Ray plug-in hybrid concept – Click above to enlarge

Kia Ray plug-in hybrid concept – Click above to enlarge

Koei Saga, the managing officer of the Toyota Motor Corporation, might say that his company is "very excited" to expand plug-in hybrid (PHEV) testing when that's the announcement of the day, but he's also quite willing to give plug-in vehicles a verbal smackdown at other times.

The last time we heard anything substantive from General Motors about its plug-in hybrid program was last August, when it announced that the planned Saturn Vue PHEV would instead be re-badged as a Buick crossover. We all know how that worked out. GM backtracked after less than two weeks and canceled that vehicle. While we were at the Volt battery plant this morning, we ran into Brian Corbett who is the spokesman for all things hybrid at GM.

Hyundai Blue-Will PHEV concept – click above for high-res image gallery

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