Volvo C30 BEV (Photo: Volvo)

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With the threat of gasoline hitting $2.00/L and ever-greater awareness of green issues, it's no wonder carmakers are clambering over each other to bring viable electric cars to market.

Setting aside so-called neighbourhood electric vehicles — glorified golf karts — and the short-lived electric car boom of the '90s in which the famed GM EV-1 was born, Nissan has claimed the honour of having the first mainstream car powered solely by electricity. It's the Leaf, and it's pretty big news.

And while it, the fabulous Tesla Roadster, and the Chevy Volt are the only three you can buy right now, pretty much all other major manufacturers have something in the cards — whether it's near production, or currently under evaluation through real-world testing.

In this gallery, we'll be introducing you to the most exciting electric cars on sale, as well as ones not far away. We've got pure electric cars, ones powered by fuel cells, and for added flavour, a couple of extended-range hybrid vehicles. Read on to learn about motoring's electric future!

Related links:
Find a pre-owned car with MSN Autos
Should you be shopping for an electric car?
Life with Chevy's Volt