2012 Car Preview: New Hybrids and Electrics

Last Updated Sep 13, 2011 10:25 AM EDT

With new mileage standards rolling quickly down the pike, American car buyers are finally getting a wider range of low-mileage alternatives to traditional gasoline engines. Consumers got their first real look at electric cars in model year 2011, with the introduction of the plug-in Nissan Leaf and the Chevrolet Volt -- but more companies are adding electric models for 2012, however, and new and redesigned 2012 gas-electric hybrids will also get into the high-mileage derby.

The federal government continues to promote electric cars with a $7,500 tax credit for qualifying models, and some states add their own incentives. But it remains to be seen if masses of auto buyers will pay the higher price for electrics and be comfortable with their limited range (extended by the Chevy Volt with its backup gasoline generator).

For those who want to go electric, here's a look at the new entries, plus the new and redesigned hybrids.

Next: See the new electric models
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    Jerry Edgerton, author of Car Shopping Made Easy, has been covering the car beat since Detroit companies dominated the U.S. market. The former car columnist for Money magazine and Washington correspondent for Business Week, Edgerton specializes in finding the best deals on wheels and offering advice on making your car last.

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