on a facility called Mobile Automotive Technology Tested or MATT for short, operated by Argonne National Lab, one of the largest research centers for the U.S. Department of Energy. The facility allows engineers to quickly test various components for hybrids
and new ways of combining them together. In addition, Argonne's Center for Transportation Research is working on the development, testing and perfecting of vehicles that can run on everything from ethanol
, methanol to wood chips. The MATT setup is expected to receive four plug-in batteries in June, a technology that Don Hillebrand, the center's director, believes Argonne can significantly contribute toward. The research staff, however, couldn't wait to start doing some tests, so they took a Prius
, disconnected its small battery and used a power processing system to simulate the larger battery involved in a plug-in hybrid
. The test resulted in a car that traveled 78 miles on one gallon of gas.