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A jolt of Volt from GM

The buzz was electric at the annual North American International Auto Show, with automakers showing off a bevy of eco-friendly cars, from gas-electric hybrids to "plug-in" id="6139703">electric cars.

A jolt of Volt

Toyota, for one, said it expects to sell up to 300,000 hybrids in the U.S. this year, up from 191,000 in 2006.

Much of the excitement surrounded the Volt, a concept car from GM that is designed to use little or no gasoline, drawing power exclusively from a next-generation battery pack recharged by a small onboard engine.

GM had famously killed off an earlier electric car, the EV1. The demonstration of the Volt had many wondering if Detroit was finally changing its ways, even if the Volt is still a ways off from reality.

Blog community response:

"This car is not likely to be available for another three years, but if it pans out, it's definitely a step in the right direction. I'm one of those people who drives at most a few miles a day (usually), so a car like this would be right up my alley. I'll be watching this with interest."
--By The Way

"It's right in line with what I believe will make sustainability ultimately successful, it's a hot car that's also green. Like the Tesla, I'd rather drive this than a bowl of granola, the difference is, this one is targeted to the rest of us (read affordable)."
--MoCo Loco

"Unfortunately, this one's just a concept for now, with no potential production plans in sight. The big holdup is the batteries, since powering a car solely on li-ion is still a bit of a risky proposition given the fact that nobody has brought one to market yet (we're all rooting for you, Tesla). GM's also vying for an actually financially viable solution: a total cost of ownership that bests current production cars. You'll hear no complaints from this side."