As the momentum builds towards Chevy Volt production, the competition are apparently not sitting by idly.

Autocar (UK) today reported inside information that Mazda has secretly been developing its own extended-range electric vehicle (E-REV).

The article reports "Mazda engineers are hard at work trying to develop a rival to the Chevrolet Volt." Inside sources claim that prototype trials are already underway using MPV bodyshells that use a rotary engine to charge the battery.

Source ( Autocar )

On another front, Toyota's president has just told reporters his company plans to move up the launch of a test fleet of plug-in Priuses to 2009, whereas previously these were expected to arrive in 2010. He also indicated Toyota is planning for mass production of electric cars in the "early part of next decade."

Source ( Forbes )