MPG on steroids just "plug 'n' go"

RUTLAND It has been one year since Central Vermont Public Service rolled out the latest in energy efficient vehicles. A year later, CVPS plug n go is proving to be a unique program to supercharge hybrid electric vehicles. CVPS plug n go gives our customers the opportunity to be on the cutting edge of reducing automobile emissions and extending vehicle mileage, and the next generation of highly efficient cars and trucks," CVPS President Bob Young said. Just as CVPS Cow PowerTM is creating a new market for energy produced by dairy farmers, CVPS plug n go will demonstrate that plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles are commercially viable and provide tremendous benefits to car owners and society at large. Dr. Steven Letendre, a professor and energy economist at Green Mountain Collge, is one of the country's leading experts on plug-in hybrids and vehicles designed to connect to the electric grid (vehicles-to-grid or V2G). By converting hybrid vehicles to PHEVs, one can significantly reduce auto emissions by using cleaner, more efficient grid energy, and vastly extend fuel efficiency, Letendre said. This is the next generation of vehicles, and CVPS plug n goTM gives Vermonters an opportunity to be among the first to enjoy their benefits. The CVPS hybrid has been making visits to area businesses and schools. It most recently appeared at Poultney High School (photo below). Major automakers such as General Motors are developing PHEVs, and conversion kits are already available to hybrid owners who want to take the next step now. CVPS plug n go allows customers to sign up for an off-peak electric rate that can substantially reduce per-mile driving costs. PHEVs, like normal HEVs, can operate on a combination of gas and electricity, but can be driven exclusively on electricity at low city driving speeds for up to 30 miles. Dan Mackey, CVPS's garage fleet supervisor, said although mass-produced PHEVs were still a few years away, CVPS wanted to offer the program now to give customers a new choice, demonstrate PHEVs' value, and provide environmental benefits.

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