The Chevy Volt: GM's Huge Bet on the Electric Car

The stalwart Detroit automaker that shied away from electric and hybrid tech in the '90s, has done an about-face, unveiling the Volt, a fully electric plug-in car. Question is: Will General Motors survive until production begins?

Gabor Ekecs for TIME

Chevrolet Volt

I can see the future of the automobile — I just can't quite hear it. I'm riding around General Motors' secure proving grounds in Milford, Mich., in what from the outside looks like an ordinary Chevrolet Malibu. But inside it couldn't be more different. The test car isn't powered by a gasoline-fueled internal combustion engine, like nearly every automobile since the first Model T rolled off Henry Ford's assembly line in 1908. Nor is it a hybrid like Toyota's fuel-efficient Prius with a gas engine assisted by an electric motor. This Malibu is electric, powered...

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