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Newsflash: Over the last few decades, cars have gotten both heavier and more powerful in addition to getting somewhat better fuel mileage. No shocker, right? Still, it's interesting to actually sit down and take a good look at the data to see what additional information can be gleaned.

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UC Davis got $3 M from the California Energy Commission to open a new plug-in, hybrid research center. Pat's Garage will convert 10 Priuses for the center, adding a $12,000 battery that extends the electric-only range up to 40 miles, and the total range of the car to 100 miles per gallon. UC Davis will loan the cars for eight weeks to 100 random members of AAA Northern California.

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