Andy Grove, former chairman and CEO of Intel, in a keynote speech called for converting 10 million SUVs and trucks to plug-in hybrids within four years. He challenged tech companies, utilities, and researchers to create a plan, engaging open-source technology, for the next U.S. president's first day in office.
With beefy batteries recharged by connecting to a power outlet, plug-in hybrid cars can run on electricity alone. Once the battery fizzles, plug-ins draw from the gas tank. By contrast, hybrids available today, such as the Toyota Prius, save energy from braking to a battery, but they still require gasoline to get going.
If plug-in hybrid owners recharge their cars at night, when power from the electrical grid is otherwise untapped, utilities may not necessarily need to rush to build new power plants.
However, efforts are growing to build up a public, plug-and-go infrastructure beyond the garages of homeowners. San Jose is to test the company's electric car charging stations, which could be integrated within the street scape, such as on streetlights. Drivers would be able to pull up to a 110-volt station, shown here, and plug in.
July 24, 2008 4:00 AM PDT
Photo by: James Martin/CNET News
| Caption by: Elsa Wenzel
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