My wife has stopped having emotional outbursts each time our Prius comes to a stop and the engine shuts off. It still makes us both very smug as we drive across town to Target to buy some new jeans. We are also a family that stops to gawk, for the benefit of my gearhead son, at every muscle car and street machine that roars by. My wife will do the same for her dream of a Nissan Leaf. It's not the number of cylinders for her. It's the lack of a tailpipe. None of us are looking for a Chevy Volt.
Maybe that's because the most recent flurry of advertising from GM is telling us that the best feature of the Volt is the nine gallon gas tank. Chevy would like you to know that they have not given up on the gas burning engine. They still have one foot squarely in the fossil fuel epoch. They are using this as a selling point. They are marketing their electric car with the added bonus of the fact that it's not really an electric car at all. It's a hybrid.
I understand that owning an electric car all by itself will not save the planet. In a way, it simply pushes the problem down the road to the coal-burning electricity generating plants. Even if you were savvy enough to mount solar panels on the roof of your garage, there is still waste and pollution generated in the manufacture and installation of solar panels. That's why we buy carbon offsets. If we spend enough money, everything will be green, right? Filling up that nine gallon gas tank on your electric car is a nice way to start, I suppose.