Tuesday, August 15, 2006

AES looking to 'plug in' to hybrid vehicle business

Washington Business Journal - 1:14 PM EDT Monday
by Barton Eckert
Contributing Writer

Hybrid electric vehicles are receiving more attention, and more investment, as fuel prices continue to rise. Now AES is joining a consortium in support of plug-in hybrids.

Hybrids are "an economical way to help meet our nation's transportation, environmental and energy goals in a sustainable way," says Robert Hemphill, executive vice president of Arlington-based AES, one of the world's biggest power companies with facilities in 26 countries.

The consortium includes automotive suppliers, manufacturers and others trying to accelerate commercial production of hybrid vehicles.

Plug-ins are different from current hybrids because they can get more than 100 miles per gallon by being plugged into an electric socket. Plug-ins charge batteries that can give the vehicle more than 20 miles of range without using their combustion engines.

AES (NYSE: AES) says plug-in hybrids can be implemented relatively quickly using the existing electric power infrastructure, unlike hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, which may require decades of development and significant infrastructure changes.

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