Fifth-greenest car: Chevrolet Volt
Combined city/highway mileage:
This $39,955 plug-in hybrid runs on rechargeable batteries for some 38 miles, then switches automatically to a combination of battery power and gasoline (the car has a 9.3-gallon fuel tank).
In essence, that means
(GM - Get Report)
Volt owners have an electric car for daily commuting or short trips, but a gas/electric hybrid when they need to drive across the country to Aunt Millie's for Thanksgiving.
Reed says that eliminates "range anxiety" -- the fear that your electric car's batteries will run out of juice far from home, forcing you to find a power outlet you can "borrow" for hours for recharging.
Charging a Volt takes around 10 to 16 hours using a standard 120-volt wall socket, or about four hours by using a special 240-volt outlet. (Installing a 240-volt charger in your home costs around $2,200, although you might qualify for state tax credits or utility-company rebates.)