phlack writes "Toyota has announced a plug-in hybrid vehicle, based on their popular Prius. So far, it will only have a range of 8 miles on the battery (13km). They are going to test this vehicle on the public roads, apparently a first for the industry. From the article: 'Unlike earlier gasoline-electric hybrids, which run on a parallel system twinning battery power and a combustion engine, plug-in cars are designed to enable short trips powered entirely by the electric motor, using a battery that can be charged through an electric socket at home. Many environmental advocates see them as the best available technology to reduce gasoline consumption and global-warming greenhouse gas emissions, but engineers say battery technology is still insufficient to store enough energy for long-distance travel.'"