What's coming in hybrid and electric vehicles over the next few years? The market for electricity-sippers is expected to boom over the coming 12-24 months, with options ranging from hybrid vehicles (think of the Toyota Prius for an example) to plug-in hybrid vehicles (those that get a little extra "juice" from your wall outlet for more electric range) to pure electric vehicles (like Nissan's Leaf, running only on electric power with no tailpipe emissions) to range-extender electric vehicles (think of GM's Chevy Volt, which runs on electric power most of the time until a small gas or diesel engine starts to support long-distance driving).

Could you be driving an electric or hybrid in the next few years? View our list to see what's in your future.
Release Date: 2011

Powertrain: Plug-in electric with range-extender fuel engine

Why It's Important: GM's "moonshot" is the ultra high-mile Chevy Volt plug-in electric vehicle, said to get 230 mpg. If GM pulls this off they could reclaim the green mantle from Toyota.
Release Date: 2010

Powertrain: Hybrid

Why It's Important: Honda's well of fun little sports cars runs deep and the CR-Z clearly brings up memories of the light and fantastic (and fuel-sippin') CRX hatchback. Add a hybrid system and they might have found a new formula for the hatchback crowd.
Release Date: 2011

Powertrain: Hybrid

Why It's Important: Audi hasn't been quick to debut hybrid systems in their vehicles, choosing mostly to stick to diesels. This Q5 could be their way of testing the water by putting their toe in the water.
Release Date: 2010

Powertrain: Hybrid

Why It's Important: Unsatisfied with Lexus (and the forthcoming Fisker Karma) owning the luxury hybrid sedan space, BMW's new 7-series hybrid should differentiate itself by providing extra oomph (442 lb-ft of torque will be on tap).
Release Date: 2011

Powertrain: Plug-in hybrid

Why It's Important: If Buick is truly going to become a great American brand again, they need to start innovating. This system should use the same running gear as the 230-mpg Chevy Volt, making this new Buick an exciting one to watch.
Release Date: Late 2009

Powertrain: Plug-in electric with range-extender fuel engine

Why It's Important: Arguably one of the most beautiful new designs on the road, the Karma should do for the nascent Fisker brand what all great cars do: garner maximum attention. That the Karma will be one of the first plug-in electric vehicles available on the market, it should have about a year on its own before the major manufacturers start competing with it head on.
Release Date: 2010

Powertrain: Hybrid

Why It's Important: The Fit could become one of the cheapest hybrids on the market today, creating a wave of new hybrid owners. Right now the cheapest hybrid on the market is the Fit's older brother, the Honda Insight, but at about $20,000 that is still out of reach for many buyers.
Release Date: Late 2009

Powertrain: Hybrid

Why It's Important: With a 3.5-liter V6 a trusy battery pack, the ML450 hybrid can go 1.8 miles or up to 34 mph on battery power alone (take that, 2010 Prius).
Release Date: 2010

Powertrain: Hybrid

Why It's Important: At 29 miles per gallon combined, the S400 can boast about more than just its Mercedes-Benz badge on its hood. Of course, luxury vehicles have an easier time being green: their buyers can afford to absorb the costs of their systems.
Release Date: Possibly never

Powertrain: Hybrid

Why It's Important: A hybrid sports car? Isn't this blasphemy? Well, in some circles it just might be; in others, not so much. The idea of a 370Z hybrid is something along the lines of pure speculation at this point, but we do know Nissan and Infiniti are working on their own hybrid system and internal plans continue to look into its use on the famous Z sports car.
Release Date: Late 2010 or early 2011

Powertrain: Plug-in electric

Why It's Important: Nissan claims the Leaf will have a fuel equivalent of 367 miles per gallon. That's not a typo. For now, though, the Leaf is still just a prototype. Expect it to come to market in a year or so in limited markets, mostly in the west.
Release Date: 2011

Powertrain: Hybrid

Why It's Important: Porsche has big plans for its big truck and it's no secret that many of its buyers have interest in hybrid powertrains (and, no doubt, the money to pay for such a luxury). Expect the Cayenne hybrid to carry a premium price tag and something near 25 MPG.
Release Date: 2011

Powertrain: Hybrid

Why It's Important: Porsche is now making a sedan called the Panamera; it's expected to go on sale in October of 2009. Since luxury sedan buyers now expect hybrids as part of an options package, Porsche will feature a parallel hybrid system (meaning it can drive under electric power, gasoline power, or both), meaning it will travel on electric power up to 70 miles per hour.
Release Date: 2011

Powertrain: Plug-in hybrid

Why It's Important: A Prius is already a hybrid that gets 50 mpg, but Toyota is readying a plug-in hybrid version of the car, making it even more efficient. Toyota says that plug-in hybrid versions of its Prius hatchback are averaging 65 miles per gallon in real-world testing.
Release Date: 2012 or beyond

Powertrain: Plug-in hybrid

Why It's Important: Volvo is expected to launch its hybrid system (a plug-in one, at that) in their famous wagon lineup. The V70 has long been a Volvo classic (think of old 240 Volvo station wagons from the 80s and 90s) and the company's first hybrid system makes sense to launch here first. There are also rumors that Volvo is launching a hybrid or electric version of its small C30 hatchback, too.