Plug-Ins to the Rescue: Minnesota May Nudge Ford Toward Greener Cars


A novel piece of legislation was proposed in Minnesota last week that would turn St. Paul’s ailing Ford Motor Plant into a leading producer of plug-in hybrids. The bill, being promoted by a bipartisan group of lawmakers, would create incentives for the auto plant to shift from making Ranger pickups, to making a line of plug-in hybrid Fords. It would also give $100,000 in funding to the Minnesota State University at Mankato to convert two flex-fuel vehicles to include plug-in technology. The authors of the bill hope that they can save the St. Paul plant from potential closure and help make the state a leader in making cutting-edge green vehicles. Plug-in hybrid conversion kits just recently came on the market, but no commercially produced plug-in cars are available yet. A biofuel plug-in would also be a first. ::