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Plug-in Prius Travels from Florida to D.C. on 9 Gallons of Gas

June 18, 2009

To show off the benefits of a plug-in hybrid, Florida Toyota dealer Earl Stewart challenged dealer mechanic Rick Kearney to drive from North Palm Beach to Washington D.C., on one 9-gallon tank. Taking back roads to reduce gas use, Kearney completed the 10-day trip in early June, averaging 123 miles a gallon, reported USA Today

The car, called the "Electric Green Machine," is fitted with a custom A123 Hymotion lithium battery that was installed at the Advanced Vehicle Research Center in Raleigh, N.C. The car's gas engine charges the battery, but the electric motor can achieve to 50 miles per hour. The gas engine kicks in if the driver wants to go faster.  

During the drive, Kearney stopped for interviews at newspapers, and people followed his trip via Myspace, Facebook, Twitter and the Earl Stewart Toyota website. According to USA Today, he recommended the electric plug-in for people with a daily commute to work.

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