The U.S. Big Three automakers will get $30 million over three years for plug-in hybrid R&D, the Department of Energy announced Thursday. While less than automakers wanted — last year they pushed for $500 million — each welcomed some funding for various aspects of plug-in research. Chrysler plans to build a test fleet of 80 plug-ins, including 10 adapted Dodge Durangos and Chrysler Aspens; General Motors will also build a fleet, as well as focusing funds on enhancing engine innards; and Ford will work on a project “to identify a pathway that accelerates mass production of plug-in hybrid vehicles.” DOE wants cost-competitive plug-ins ready for wide use by 2016; General Motors has said it’ll have plug-ins available by 2010, but warns the cost will likely be high until a cheaper battery is developed.