By now, you may well have seen short video clips of crudely animated people talking in monotonous tones, with more than occasional mispronunciations and odd rhythms.

They're Xtranormal animations, created by feeding your dialogue into a website that animates them based on the author's choices of characters and animations.

Now Chevy Volt owner and advocate Jeff U'Ren has created an Xtranormal clip that explains the basics of plug-in electric cars.

Although, to be truthful, "I just bought a plug-in car" explains range-extended electric cars--U'Ren's 2011 Chevrolet Volt, in fact--and doesn't say anything about pure battery electric cars such as the 2011 Nissan Leaf.

2011 Chevrolet Volt

2011 Chevrolet Volt

It does, however, flag the difference between a hybrid like the Toyota Prius and electric cars that plug in. "Your Prius needs gas to run," says the large-headed animation character, whereas the Volt doesn't, up to its 40-mile electric range before the gas-powered generator switches on.

And it goes from there, comparing the Volt to the Prius, with more than a slight bias toward the Volt's advantages--plus a diversion into gas prices, oil policies, and presidential elections.

To U'Ren's credit, he addresses the issue of electricity generated from coal--a mile driven on coal-generated electricity is still cleaner than a mile driven in a 25-mpg gasoline car--though he also notes that his own electricity comes from solar panels on his house.

And, hey, when's the last time someone used the phrase "liberal Commie potheads" in an electric-car video?

For another example of Xtranormal video--very loosely related to cars, as in human car wrecks--see here (third clip from the top).


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