AutoNation, Inc. a U.S. automotive retailer, has joined the Plug-In Partners campaign calling on automakers to manufacture plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. “The development of plug-in hybrids could reduce America’s addiction to oil,” said AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson. “These new hybrids would offer consumers a 50-mile all-electric range, get the equivalent of 100 miles per gallon, be fully recharged at night and deliver all the performance and comfort of traditional gasoline-powered vehicles without the damaging emissions. We believe Americans will buy these vehicles, which is why we want to sell them.” The Plug-In Partners campaign, launched in January 2006 by the City of Austin and Austin Energy, has attracted nearly 60 cities and counties, including Los Angeles, Dallas, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco, Baltimore and Phoenix, as well as dozens of environmental, national security organizations, business and utility partners. The coalition is working with its partners to generate “soft” fleet orders to demonstrate the potential market for plug-in hybrid vehicles. It also has begun a nationwide petition drive for individual consumers to express their support and interest in buying a plug-in hybrid vehicle. Austin Mayor Will Wynn said: “AutoNation’s support of the Plug-In Partners campaign demonstrates the growing momentum for the manufacturing of plug-in hybrids. Mike Jackson certainly knows what type of vehicles that Americans will buy. We salute his commitment to help us reduce this country’s dependence on foreign oil and decrease greenhouse gas emission while also lowering fuel costs for consumers.” Contrasting plug-in hybrids to the limited range of earlier electric vehicles, Jackson added, “Next-generation batteries are significantly more powerful and can tolerate discharging and charging much more forgivingly than earlier versions. That opens up the possibility of creating a vehicle that will deliver genuine benefits to consumers and society.” AutoNation, Inc., headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. AutoNation has approximately 27,000 full-time employees and owns and operates 333 new vehicle franchises in 16 states.