9 of 9
BACKNEXT
Volt
Volt
Battery technology still hasn't improved enough to provide for long-range driving, so the Volt uses a gasoline engine to produce more electricity if needed.
The Volt solves the long-standing problem of "range anxiety" for electric cars. Drivers no longer have to worry about their car's batteries leaving them flat far from home.

As the battery begins to wind down, a small gasoline engine begins generating the electricity needed to keep driving.

The really nice thing about this plan, in GM's view, is that the gasoline engine could easily be swapped out with any other kind of generator. If hydrogen fuel cells finally start to catch on, no big reengineering project will be needed. Just drop in a fuel cell instead of an engine and a compressed hydrogen tank instead of a gas tank.

By the time the Volt comes out in late 2010 other carmakers, as well as GM's own Saturn division, will offer plug-ins - both hybrid and all-electric - for sale, as well. A century after it was born, the plugged-in car may officially be back.

More galleries

Last updated April 07 2009: 2:19 PM ET
More Galleries
9 reasons to be excited about Windows 9 Microsoft is expected to begin showing off Windows 9's features later this month. Here are the expected changes you should be thrilled about. More
8 must-have travel apps Whether you've got wanderlust or an airline grievance, here are some apps to pack onto your phone. More
Hot stocks: 10 record breaking companies The S&P 500 is trading at all-time highs, and many well-known businesses are leading the charge. Time to buy or sell? More

Special Offer
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.