The nation’s premier conference for the electric vehicle industry is being held at the Raleigh Convention Center this week.

Plug-In 2011 brings automakers, engineers and scientists together to talk about the future of transportation. Among the cars on display through Thursday is the 2011 Chevy Volt, a vehicle powered by gas and electricity.

The Volt’s battery is designed to operate the vehicle an EPA-estimated 35 miles and cost about $1.50 a day in electricity. The battery takes about 10 hours to fully charge, depending on climate, with a standard 120-volt line, or four hours using a dedicated 240-volt line.

When the battery runs low, the gas engine switches on. The car’s wheels also generate some battery power to ease gas consumption.

 “We’ve driven this car 1,000 miles and burned about seven gallons of gas,” Progress Energy’s Scotty Sutton said Monday.

The suggested retail price of the Volt is $41,000, and it is eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit available for plug-in electric vehicles.

Watch WRAL’s Brian Shrader drive the Volt here.

On Monday during the Plug-In conference, AAA unveiled its first roadside assistance truck with the capabilitly to charge electric vehicles. AAA said it will initially deploy trucks with mobile electric vehicle charging capability in Portland Ore., Seattle, Wash., the San Francisco Bay area, Los Angeles, Calif., Knoxville, Tenn., and Tampa Bay, Fla. The rollout will begin later this summer and continue into the fall.

For the conference agenda, read here.

Reporter: Brian Shrader
Web Editor: Kathy Hanrahan

Get the latest news alerts: Follow WRAL Tech Wire at Twitter.