SOUTHFIELD, Michigan — General Motors Corp, losing sales to fuel-efficient cars from Toyota Motor Corp, is developing a hybrid-electric vehicle with a battery that recharges at any outlet, said GM officials familiar with the plan. The so-called plug-in hybrid would travel more than 60 miles on a gallon of gasoline, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the research is secret. GM, which had the first modern electric car in 1996, lags behind Toyota in hybrids, which combine electric motors and gasoline engines. A 28% rise in US gasoline prices this year helped boost sales of Toyota’s gasoline-electric models 37%, giving the Japanese automaker almost three-fourths of US retail hybrid sales. GM doesn’t make competing vehicles now. Automakers are trying to raise fuel efficiency as US lawmakers consider tougher requirements for cars and trucks. ‘There is rising regulatory demand and consumer demand for improved fuel economy and lower emissions,” said John Casesa, an auto analyst at New York-based Casesa Shapiro Group LLC. ‘There’s a lot of pressure to show you’re responsive.” The plug-in designs GM is testing may be ready in time for the Detroit auto show in January, the people said. Any commercial […]

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