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RPN Members to Test PHEVs

December 04, 2007

Source: City of Seattle

RPN members, the City of Seattle, King County, and other local Washington agencies will participate in a yearlong demonstration project testing the performance of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles in an urban area. The field performance data will be reported to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory, which is providing funding and technical support for the project. With matched funding from program participants, 13 Priuses will be converted to plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) at a total cost of $156,000.

The project will test technology used to convert the second generation Priuses to 100 miles per gallon vehicles; test PHEV performance in an urban area; help evaluate PHEV-electric grid integration issues; and promote electricity as an alternative fuel for transportation.

Seattle Mayor, Greg Nickels says, “It is critical for government to be involved in developing clean and cost-saving alternatives to oil-fueled vehicles. This demonstration project will accelerate the commercial introduction of these vehicles and prepare our utility for the day when many of us are plugging into the grid instead of filling up at the pump.”

U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Wash., welcomed the news. “Plug-in hybrids are on the cusp of commercialization. Automakers say they will build them if battery costs drop. But batterymakers need volume orders to reduce costs,” Inslee said. Inslee has authored language in the House-passed energy package that would create a $4,000 tax credit for consumers who purchase plug-ins, a national plug-in hybrid pilot program, and grants for nonprofits, as well as state and local governments, to promote plug-in hybrids.

To learn more about hybrid technology and climate neutral fleets, visit the Responsible Purchasing Guide for Light-Duty Fleet Vehicles.

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