If GM's EV-1 electric car were to be manufactured today, it would have a battery pack that weighs half as much as it did in the old EV-1. Great strides in battery technology have been realized since the demise of the EV-1, making this possible. Faster recharge time and longer life are additional benefits of the best currently available batteries. The new breed of Plug-In-Electric Vehicles (PHEV's) would include a backup generator to extend the range, but most owners wouldn't use it for day-to-day commutes. In other words, most of the time they wouldn't use any fossil fuel at all, instead using power stored in the vehicle's batteries. And while using grid-supplied power to recharge the vehicle is not truely a "Green" solution, it's better than the millions of gas and diesel-powered cars that pollute our air today.
Unlike today's hybrids, the fuel-powered engine would recharge the batteries, not directly drive the wheels. GM could be a leader in electric vehicle technology, and a profitable company once again. But more importantly, the world would be different. There would be no need for oil wars, and gasoline would be less expensive due to decreased demand.
Critics of the electric car worry that a suden influx of plug-in cars would overload the already-strained electrical grid, and in some parts of the country this is certainly true. Still, it makes more sense to increase electrical generation and distribution capabilities than it does to continue to use fossil fuels, which are declining and non-renewable. For those who can't wait for power infrastructure upgrades, alternative energy such as solar and wind is an option. Although the cost of such systems is high, the savings over fossil fuel-powered alternatives are significant, and the payback is quicker than you might expect.