Shameless Plugs: Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles at the National Renewable Energy Labs

Our host, Frank Sesno, visits the National Renewable Energy Labs (NREL) to check out a Prius they've retrofitted to be a plug-in hybrid vehicle. The cars are charged by solar panels in their parking lot.

NREL's plug-in hybrid electric vehicle utilizes a rechargeable lithium ion battery pack that gets charged up by a solar panel in the parking lot. But, it also eliminates "range-anxiety" of traditional all-electric vehicles, because it also has a traditional combustion engine in addition to its electric motor.

The cars are cleaner and require fewer fill-ups at a gas station, but will replace our combustion engines? If battery improvements continue and gas prices soar, that just might be the case, according to NREL. What do you think?

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