Partnership pushes plug-in cars

Ford and Southern California Edison are joining forces to produce hybrid vehicles that plug into standard wall outlets. The companies are planning to test their combined technologies by placing cars with drivers as soon as this year.

The plan is to collect data, testing the durability of the vehicles and their impact on the power grid. Detroit-based Ford and the power producer hope to speed up mass production, which had previously been stifled by costs and battery technology.

Ford plans to use lithium-ion batteries, which store considerably more energy than the type generally found in today’s hybrid. Company officials say they are already testing the vehicles in labs, but that it may take up to 10 years before the models are widely sold.