What do California and Michigan have in common?

I'm sure California and Michigan have a lot in common. Both states have some incredible college football teams. Both states have lakes. But most importantly, both states are getting greener all the time.

Take California's new emphasis on plug-in automobiles whose power is supplied by wind and can put energy back on the grid when not in use. Think of one complete loop of energy, all renewable. Pacific Gas & Electric Co. in California is considering plans to charge batter-powered cars at night with wind energy then buy back excess energy from drivers during the day. Night hours are generally the off-peak times when energy is cheaper and more readily available. Day time hours are demand hours. This plan would allow electricity suppliers to get back unused energy during the day to help with demand. Read more here.

In Michigan, GM is trying to shed its love affair with gas guzzling global warming nightmares. If you saw the documentary, "Who Killed the Electric Car?", you remember the cute EV1. EV1 was a Saturn (GM makes Saturns) sold in California and capable of driving about 60 miles on a plug-in charge. Charging stations were installed all over the state to provide convenience for the car. For some reason GM only leased the cars, didn't sell them, and once all the leases were up, they crushed the EV1 bodies and stopped manufacturing plug-in vehicles. With that dirty piece of history behind them, GM is looking to reclaim the plug-in market. This time they are incorporating new battery technology that allows for longer driving times on a charge and blending a gasoline engine with the car so once you run out of power, you can keep going. The car is called the Volt and GM claims it should be ready by 2010. Hopefully they aren't pulling a PR stunt. Read more here.

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