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What does the plug used both by the Mini D project by Vattenfall al and BMW and the "e-mobility" project by RWE and Smart look like? Just like the one pictured above, which is a creation of a company called Mennekes. Getting all the interested parties to agree on a standard plug isn't an easy thing, so some initiatives had been taken to make the Mennekes plug the standard model, at least in Europe.

AutoblogGreen reader Michael V. is worried. With all of the work being done on plug-in vehicles by automakers large and small, he thinks a slew of propriety batteries, chargers and plugs will effectively kill (well, at least hurt) the widespread adoption of plug-in vehicles. Instead of just worrying, though, Michael wrote an open letter to the auto industry, which he sent to us and we've pasted after the jump, about this issue.

It's an unconfirmed rumor that Ford's going to make its Super Duty pickups shiftless, but the mere whiff of a reduction in choices is likely set enthusiasts afire with rage. The merits of standard versus automatic transmissions in trucks that routinely tow and generally work hard is a debate for another time, but the real crux of the biscuit comes down to cost. As it stands now, you can get a Power Stroke diesel with a manual for $1500 less than a self-shifter. If Ford removes the standard trans

Since the debut of the original C70, and even before, Volvo's had a hi-fi fetish. That first C70 debuted the idea of in-car surround, running a Pro Logic head unit with available Dynaudio drivers arranged around the cabin. Volvo wants to continue offering its customers a euphonic experience, so they're equipping virtually all 2009 models with HD Radio receivers beginning in late 2008. HD Radio offers expanded programming, like the satellite services, but there's no fee. The selection may vary by

At the prodding of Alan Mulally, Ford Motor Co. is relenting and giving its customers what they want. At least most of them. What Ford's up to is reducing the number of options for buyers to choose from and rolling all that goodness into the standard package. By reducing the number of possible variations on the general theme, production costs decrease. With fewer configurations, things move more smoothly at the assembly level, and engineering and management costs decrease, as well. The effort ha

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