In a move that demonstrates an alternative to high gas prices and better use of the electricity grid, SMMPA had its 2008 Toyota Prius hybrid car converted to a Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) shortly after purchasing it. The conversion added of a 5 kWh lithium ion battery to supplement the gas-electric hybrid system. The battery is charged via a level 1charger (120V). The cost to fully charge the battery over a four hour period is about 55 cents, equivalent to buying gasoline at 75 cents to 85 cents per gallon.
Plug-in electric vehicles are available in two types 1) battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) operate on battery power only with no fossil fuel engine and most can go about 50–200 miles before recharging, depending on weather conditions and driving habits 2) plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), also known as extended-range electric vehicles, have electric motors and fossil fueled engines. Because PHEVs have engines, they can be driven after the plug-in battery has been depleted.
Here’s a link to a frequently updated website of what PHEV and EV vehicles are available or in development. http://www.pluginamerica.org/vehicles/