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Hybrid Cars

February 4, 2007 | From the Associated Press
Hybrid owners hoping to drive solo in the fast lane are out of luck. The state Department of Motor Vehicles announced Friday that it had issued all 85,000 carpool lane stickers available to hybrid drivers under a state law passed in 2005. Spokesman Steve Haskins said the agency received 700 applications more than the limit for the $8 stickers, which expire in 2010. The passes allow drivers of hybrids that get at least 45 miles per gallon to drive in freeway carpool lanes, even if they are alone.
August 23, 2006 | From Reuters
Some hybrid cars will pay for the premium added to their sticker prices because of high gasoline prices and tax credits on the more fuel-efficient vehicles, a study by consumer-focused website showed. Assuming vehicles were driven 15,000 miles per year and gas was at $3 a gallon, owners of Toyota Motor Corp.'s Prius and Ford Motor Co.'s Escape Hybrid would break even in three years, found. Buyers of the Saturn Vue Green Line from General Motors Corp.
July 21, 2006 | From the Associated Press
Environmentally concerned car buyers will see some federal tax breaks for energy-efficient hybrids start shrinking this fall. Toyota Motor Corp. has hit the production limit -- 60,000 -- on vehicles eligible for a tax credit designed to encourage more buyers to choose gasoline-electric hybrids. That means the tax credits for Toyota and Lexus hybrids will be cut in half for drivers who purchase their vehicles beginning in October.
June 24, 2006 | From Bloomberg News
General Motors Corp., losing sales to fuel-efficient cars from Toyota Motor Corp., is developing a hybrid-electric vehicle with a battery that recharges at any outlet, said GM officials familiar with the plan. The so-called plug-in hybrid would travel more than 60 miles on a gallon of gasoline, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the research is secret.
June 7, 2006 | John O'Dell, Times Staff Writer
Bank of America Corp. plans to roll out a pilot hybrid vehicle purchase plan for employees today that could eventually make it the nation's largest corporate sponsor of the fuel-friendly cars and sport utility vehicles. The $3,000 rebate program initially will be limited to about 21,000 bank employees working in Los Angeles County, Boston and Charlotte, N.C., where BofA is headquartered. But eventually as many as 175,000 employees in the U.S. could be eligible, spokesman Michael Chee said.
May 18, 2006 | From the Associated Press
A group of scientists urged Congress on Wednesday to fund research for plug-in hybrid vehicles, endorsing the technology as another way to reduce the nation's dependence on oil through the help of a simple electrical socket. With high prices straining some Americans' budgets, advocates of the alternative vehicles told a House committee that plug-in hybrids could reduce gasoline consumption and air emissions.
May 6, 2006
Re "From 0 to 60 in 40 watts," editorial, April 29 Finally, plug-in hybrid technology is getting the attention it deserves. As a former GM employee on the EV1 electric vehicle program, we proved that the best way to get people to use less oil is to give them the opportunity to use none -- without compromise in performance, safety and convenience. The public embraced that concept more easily than the automakers, and we were collectively gutted when GM abandoned its EV programs. It has been difficult to get the large automakers to embrace plug-in hybrids because of an intangible conflict: To produce and market a car that is clean and quiet, you inherently imply that your core products -- larger cars, trucks and sport utility vehicles -- are none of those things.
February 19, 2006 | Lisa Margonelli, LISA MARGONELLI is an Irvine fellow at the New America Foundation. Her book about petroleum, "Oil On the Brain," will be published by Nan Talese/Doubleday this year.
IF I'D BOUGHT a Toyota Prius on Jan. 1, I could collect a $3,150 tax credit from the federal government, use carpool lanes in California, park for free in San Jose and receive a 10% break on insurance from St. Paul Travelers. But are dazzling goodie bags for hybrid-vehicle owners the best way to conserve energy -- and thereby cut gas prices -- in California? Hybrids show that gas conservation can be kick-started by a coalition of the willing.
November 21, 2005 | From Associated Press
When automakers rolled out the first hybrid cars, drivers who wanted their spectacular fuel economy had to settle for weird shapes and a lack of luxury options. Now it seems the high-mileage, low-frills trend in hybrid automaking may prove shorter than a Hummer's trips between fill-ups. Newer hybrids are using the added boost from their gas-electric engines for more acceleration and power. But more mean may equal less green.
September 9, 2005 | From Reuters
Volkswagen will start making hybrid cars by 2008 with its main Chinese partner and may kick off large-scale production of the energy-efficient vehicles by 2010, the Chinese company said. Europe's biggest automaker is teaming with Shanghai Automotive in a project that could spur China's hunt for alternative energy sources and curb pollution as demand for cars soars in the world's No. 7 economy.
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