Chrysler recently announced that it's testing a hydraulic hybrid system in a minivan as part of a partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency. The company will produce a demonstration fleet of up to 20 hydraulic hybrid Chrysler Town & Country minivans. Fuel economy on the minivans should improve 30 percent to 35 percent overall. The fleet will be evaluated to see whether production is warranted.
Toyota is developing a new type of electric motor to cut its dependence on rare earth metals and lower costs, the company says. The new technology will help free the automaker from relying on China, which produces 97 percent of the global output of rare earths needed for many high-tech products, including the current generation of hybrid gasoline-electric motors.
-- The Associated Press