DETROIT – General Motors expects to start road testing prototypes of a plug-in hybrid vehicle in the spring, The Detroit News reported, citing GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz.

Lutz, speaking at the auto industry's annual Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, Mich., said GM thinks it can have such a vehicle on the road by the end of 2010, according to the Web site, www.caranddriver.com.

A plug-in hybrid is a gasoline-electric vehicle that can recharge batteries with an extension cord and a wall outlet. As part of its effort, GM announced it has joined with battery maker A123 Systems, Inc. to help develop a battery for an electric car, the latest of several outside companies signed on to help with the project.

Lutz said the vehicles should cost no more than an average "mid-market car" and would be more dependable because electric drivetrains are simpler with fewer moving parts than internal combustion engines.

Lutz said GM would like to have a plug-in Saturn VUE on the road by 2009.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials

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