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A few months ago, CNN reported General Motors was working on a plug-in hybrid vehicle. At the time, that news tidbit (possibly a PR leak), was lost beneath the anti-GM tide swelled by the film "Who Killed the Electric Car," and thus couldn't shield the company from media-flush environmentalists' jerked knees. But now, it's the General who could wind up laughing all the way to the green room. News reports indicate GM is planning to unveil a prototype hybrid-EV that employs a internal-combustion engine as a generator to extend the range of its rechargeable batteries. Sure, It sounds like a typical hybrid, but most believe the prototype will have plug-in capability — which could allow for net mileage in the triple digits. Such a release would give GM a PR win against Toyota, which is planning a plug-in of its own, according to reports. Not much else is known about the system, but it'll likely be a headliner at the Detroit auto show in January. It might even get its own ad campaign, possibly featuring a chastened Ed Bagley Jr. dumping a cooler of wheatgrass juice over the head of Rick Wagoner. Or something.

GM to unveil electric car prototype [Los Angeles Times]

GM Planning Plug-In Hybrid? [internal]