Greener Driving

When the 2011 Chevrolet Volt and 2011 Nissan Leaf electric cars launched in December 2010, major automakers began selling plug-in cars again for the first time in 80 years. The numbers will be small at first, but plug-in vehicles will grow over the next 20 or 30 years to become a substantial portion of global production.

Cars running on energy produced by the electricity grid emit substantially less “wells to wheels” carbon in operation than do gasoline cars burning gasoline, even those that return 40 miles per gallon. Analyst and writer John Voelcker, who edits, explains the Volt and how it works, and discusses the energy and policy implications of such a momentous change.

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