Driving the 2011 Chevrolet Volt leads all sorts of people to ask you questions: passers-by, the guy at the parking garage...and sometimes, even museums.

A few weeks ago, we had a Chevy Volt for review. At the time, we were asked by the Forward Thinking Museum in Manhattan not only to show its staff the car, but to let them shoot a video that puts plug-in cars into a much broader context.

Specifically, why are electric cars more energy-efficient than most gasoline and diesel cars? How does recharging a plug-in car affect the electric power grid? And will we reach President Obama's goal of 1 million electric cars on U.S. roads by 2015?

The video made by the Museum, which it graciously allowed us to share, also includes more practical background: How does recharging work? What's the impact of using the cabin heater or switching on the heated seats? And what are the various financial incentives for buying a plug-in?

The mission of the Forward Thinking Museum, which has no physical building, is to "encourage photographic artists to join their talent to contribute to the future in positive ways."

But, more broadly, the Museum seeks to provide "a path to introspection about the human condition and a way to positively interact with the world as it changes."

With plug-in and electric cars positioned squarely on the leading edge of automotive evolution, we hope this video helps place the vehicles and the technology into the larger background of the world we live in--both today and in the years and decades to come.


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