The electric car was ridiculed early on, with many skeptics saying that it would never take off. Today’s hybrid plug-ins are making the electric vehicle more palatable to many car buyers, and the biggest names in the auto industry have finally created models that people are willing to buy.

The hybrid plug-in combines an electric engine with a gas-powered option, so drivers can run their vehicles on all-gas, all electric, or a combination of the two, depending on their driving needs. For many, the ability to use a gas option is what makes these cars so desirable. For longer drives, the gas option can take the car farther without having to locate a charging station. The electric engine provides better gas mileage, so drivers can save money at the pump while feeling good about lowering their carbon footprint.

Today, the Ford Fusion Energi, the Honda Accord hybrid and the Chevy Volt are leading the pack with consumers looking for a more efficient, lower cost hybrid vehicle. These models aren’t the tiny, Smart Car-sized vehicles that were first envisioned when electric cars were first conceptualized. These hybrids are large enough to fit a whole family, and are affordable enough to be within the reach of most buyers.  With car charging stations popping up all over the country, these cars are more practical than ever before.

While not everyone has gotten on board with the electric-only options on the market, the hybrid plug-in is paving the way for more buyers to choose an environmentally friendly vehicle that is safe, efficient and affordable.