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Our Cup Runneth Over with Plug-In Hybrids

2011 starts with many more announcements of plug-in cars, and an industry that’s beginning a major transition globally. It’s still too slow to have an impact soon enough on global climate and energy security crises, but it’s what we need. Here’s a rundown of the new PHEVs, a listing of top auto industry leaders supporting plug-ins, and a link to a new California organization and report.

Here are the new plug-in hybrids, most announced at the Detroit Auto Show:

* Ford’s first PHEV using its C-Max “microvan” platform: the Energi, seating five adults and two children, with a total 500-mile range, to be built in Michigan in 2012.
* As the Chevy Volt was voted 2011 “North American Car of the Year” by 49 automotive journalists at the Detroit auto show, GM says it will more than double its first year production of the Volt from 10,000 to 25,000.
* GM announced 2012-2013 plans for a PHEV version of the Cadillac SRX crossover and a new multi-purpose vehicle — something between a hatchback and a minivan.
* Toyota extended its Prius line to multiple vehicles; its Plug-In Prius coming in the first half of 2012 will be based on the current design.
* Honda, which says it will sell PHEVs in the U.S. and Japan in 2012, will be testing in Japan a PHEV based on its Inspire mid-sized sedan.
* Bright Automotive finally has the resources to move forward, hiring 200 engineers for its IDEA PHEV fleet vehicle.
* BYD says it will sell its S6DM PHEV crossover in the U.S. in 2012.



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