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If all you know about Sweden is ABBA and those little red gummi fish, read no further. We wouldn't want to confuse you with news that the U.S. Department of Energy and the Swedish Energy Agency are partnering to work on plug-in hybrids. The two agencies signed a Memorandum of Understanding two days ago that will allow staff from the Argonne National Laboratory to "work with Test Site Sweden to investigate PHEV instrumentation and smart charging systems, and how they interact with the electrical

Just yesterday, Ford's Mark Fields gave a speech in Washington, D.C. asking for U.S. government help in developing plug-in hybrids. Today, the Department Of Energy announced a $30m, three-year, three-project PHEV funding program that is intended to help create vehicles that can drive 40 miles on battery power. ETA of these vehicles is "cost-competitive by 2014 and ready for commercialization by 2016."

Another nice green car announcement from the Department of Energy this week: almost $20 million for plug-in hybrid research. The DOE is presenting PHEVs as cars that can go "up to 40 miles" on battery power, so that seems to be the government's goal. Something to keep in mind.