14 April 2007
The Grey Lady's green machine
Plug-in hybrid research continues apace, and it's reached The New York Times, which has added to its fleet a Dodge Sprinter van with an experimental powertrain using lithium-ion batteries, a small five-cylinder diesel engine for backup, and a 220-volt power cord.
A similar van has been tested in Paris by FedEx [link to PDF file] with a gasoline engine; it's been averaging 25.4 mpg, not bad at all for a delivery vehicle which travels essentially no highway miles. The batteries can run the van for up to twenty miles before the engine kicks in. There's also a bus version, which is currently under trial by the Kansas City Area Transit Authority.
The Times experiment is co-sponsored by Con Ed, the New York Power Authority, the Electric Power Research Institute and DaimlerChrysler.Posted at 9:08 AM to Driver's Seat , Family Joules