New York Times to Test Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle

by : RyanThomas

Car manufacturers have been outdoing each other in developing and producing cutting edge green vehicles. The race to produce the most fuel efficient vehicle is spurred by the increased demand for fuel misers as prices of gasoline increases.

Furthermore, President Bush's "Twenty in Ten" policy has prompted car manufacturers to produce fuel efficient vehicles. Hybrid technology is already being widely used by car manufacturers. Hybrid vehicles use an electric motor to give extra power to the vehicle without using petroleum fuel.

Taking a step further, car manufacturers are now developing plug-in hybrid vehicles, or hybrid vehicles which are equipped with a battery pack. Now such a type of vehicle can be actually recharged via a common household outlet for additional power.

Recently, a vehicle of that kind was delivered to the New York Times. The world famous newspaper recently announced that they have become the first recipient of a plug-in hybrid vehicle in the East Coast. The said plug-in hybrid vehicle will be tested by the New York Times as a part of a commercial performance demonstration and technology evaluation process.

The vehicle, a Dodge Sprinter, will be tasked to deliver New York Times newspapers from the firm's printing plant in College Point, Queens to the New York Times' headquarters located in central Manhattan. Aside from that duty, the Dodge Sprinter plug-in hybrid vehicle will also be making trips to the Time's plant situated in Edison, New Jersey.

The New York Times received the said PHEV as the result of the collaboration between DaimlerChrysler, the New York Power Authority, the Electric Power Research Institute, and Con Edison. The partnership is aimed to test the developed plug-in hybrid vehicle under real-world applications. DaimlerChrysler is the only carmaker to test their plug-in hybrid vehicles in the United States. The result of the evaluation process will play a major role in the future of the Dodge Sprinter plug-in hybrid vehicle.

Tom Lombardo, the Vice President for Production of the New York Times, has this to say: "We are proud that The New York Times is the first major entity in the State of New York with a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle in our fleet. When we were approached by NYPA and DaimlerChrysler, we knew immediately that we wanted to be involved. We are delighted to be supporting the use of clean energy, sustainability and advances in plug-in hybrid technology."

Meanwhile, Mark Chernoby, the Vice President for Advanced Vehicle Engineering of the Chrysler Group, has this to say about the partnership with the New York Times: "Alliances such as this are necessary for new technologies to move forward. The daily operation of The New York Times Dodge Sprinter plug-in hybrid will give DaimlerChrysler the valuable real world experience needed for hybrid powertrain and lithium-ion battery development."

The current technology now uses lithium-ion battery packs since they weigh less than nickel-metal hydride which were the ones previously used. The battery is also more powerful thus supplying more power to the electric motor used in the hybrid which works similar to a .

Arshad Mansoor, the Vice President for Power Delivery and Market Sector for the Electric Power Research Institute, has this to say about their involvement in the development of the Dodge Sprinter plug-in hybrid vehicle: "The New York Times Hybrid Sprinter evaluation represents an important milestone in EPRI's PHEV research and development program that began in 1999. The test data collected will help determine the technologies that need to be incorporated into a production design, facilitating the effort to make PHEV's commercially available."

Meanwhile, Randolph S. Price, the Vice President for Environment, Health, and Safety for Con Edison, stated that: "Con Edison's research and development group recognizes the potential that hybrid plug-in electric vehicles have to make a profound impact on the environment. Electric vehicles have the potential to dramatically lessen our country's dependence on foreign oil and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As the electric supplier for nine million New Yorkers, Con Edison is on the lookout for new, environmentally friendly applications for the electric grid."

The Dodge Sprinter plug-in hybrid vehicle is designed to be recharged via a common 220-volt AC outlet. Its power is stored in an advanced lithium-ion battery pack. It also features a regenerative braking system which charges the battery during braking.