Super Fuel Efficient Autos for the Carolinas

By: Anthony Fontanelle

The demand for fuel efficient vehicle is very strong that civic organizations are doing their best to promote the use of eco-friendly and fuel efficient vehicles. An example of this is the Plug-In Hybrid Coalition of the Carolinas which is slated to receive its first delivery of a plug-in hybrid car on the 23rd of this month.

The said plug-in hybrid vehicle is a prototype which, according to sources, has an astounding gas mileage rating of 100 miles per gallon. That figure is for city driving. The fuel efficiency of the said prototype is complemented by its environment friendliness. The car reduces emission by as much as 60 percent.

"We are thrilled to show technology exists that will significantly improve air quality, reduce greenhouse gases, and lessen our dependence on foreign oil," said Jim Poch, the Executive Director of the Plug-IN Hybrid Coalition of the Carolinas. Poch also pointed out that the use of alternative fuels will further enhance the eco-friendliness of the vehicle and its fuel efficiency as well.

Plug-in hybrid vehicles are essentially hybrid vehicles which can be recharged by plugging it into an electrical socket. This capability of plug-in hybrid vehicles is made possible by an efficient battery pack which is powerful enough to store a large amount of power. This stored power should also be complemented by advanced electric motors which will be tasked to drive the vehicle.

By simply plugging in a PHEV into a household socket, its battery pack can be recharged. For car owners who do most of their driving around a city, the capability of the advanced battery pack and the electric motor would mean that consumption of petroleum fuel will be virtually eliminated.

The Coalition is a grassroots organization composed of civic, business, and environmental leaders. The coalition's aim is to urge automakers to push forward with the development of practical plug-in hybrid vehicles for mass production. Over 50 prototypes of PHEVs have already been built since 2004. Two of these are hybrid school buses used in Raleigh and Charlotte, North Carolina. In response to the coalition's urging, both Toyota and General Motors, the largest automakers in the world predicts that PHEVs may be mass produced by 2010.

Area utilities supporting the coalition include SCE&G, Progress Energy and Duke Energy. Bob Long, the general manger of corporate planning for SCE&G, has this to say about their involvement in the initiative: "Government studies have shown our nation has enough off-peak electricity to power 84 percent of the nation's passenger and light duty truck fleet. Since the vehicles reduce emissions and lower fuel costs, we think plug-ins present a winning combination for consumers, the environment, and the utility industry."

Meanwhile, Lloyd Yates, the president and Chief Executive Officer of Progress Energy Carolinas, has this to say: "Meeting the energy needs of the future requires a balanced solution, one that includes alternative projects like these plug-in hybrids. We are excited about the coalition's work and we look forward to learning more about the promise of these vehicles."

The delivery of the coalition's first PHEV signals a new era for vehicles such as this. With this, it seems that the advent of PHEVs could not be stopped even with highly efficient brake components from .

The sentiment of the coalition is summed up by Dana Beach, the Coastal Conservation League Director, saying: "We are excited to help showcase this technology. Anything that improves air quality and reduces greenhouse gases is urgently needed."

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