January 29, 2008 Plug-in electric hybrid cars represent a simple and effective bridge between today's primarily petrol-driven hybrids and tomorrow's fully electric vehicles. Over short distances, they deliver the efficiency, economy and low emissions of an electric car – but you've still got a petrol engine to rely on for longer trips. With Toyota testing a plug-in Prius that's rumored to go to production in 2009, Ford has announced a Plug-in Electric Hybrid (PHEV) version of its Escape SUV. Currently in testing, the Escape PHEV runs primarily on electric in its commuting duties, achieving around 30 miles of high-efficiency electric drive after an overnight charge of its high capacity Lithium-Ion battery pack. For longer trips it reverts seamlessly back to normal hybrid operation.