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Get ready for some crazy abbreviations here. Union Rural Electric Cooperative (URE) will debut Ohio's first plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) on May 3 in Marysville. Created by the Ohio Rural Electric Cooperatives (OREC) and Hybrid Plus in Boulder, Colorado, Plug-In 1 is a converted Ford Escape Hybrid. The stock nickel metal hydride battery has been yanked in favor of a new lithium ion pack which contains 1,600 separate cells that add up to 12 kWhs of capacity.

Tonight Show host Jay Leno has gotten attention lately for his cooperation with GM on the turbine powered EcoJet concept last year and more recently an E85-powered Corvette. Leno has always had an interest in alternative power-trains and this week he got to sample one of the first plug-in hybrid Ford Escapes. The PHEV Escape was announced earlier this year as part of a test program with Southern California Edison. After an introduction to the vehicle, Ford engineers left the car with Leno for an