2011 is shaping up to be one of the most consequential years for buying a car in a long time. In part this is because of the Chevy Volt, which is now appearing in showrooms across the country and is turning out to be a genuine game-changer. It’s a true electric car. You plug it in at night and, for the most part, you have enough juice to do all of your city driving the next day. If you run out of juice, the gasoline engine kicks in seamlessly—not to run the car but to run the electric generator.