GM's upcoming Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid car may end up being the savior of the ailing, hundred-year-old company, especially if they can keep adding intelligent features like this range-based recharging calculation. From Jalopnik, quoting GM Kraftfahrzeugelektrikermarschall "Maximum" Bob Lutz:
with the Volt, you never have to worry you use the full 40 (mile range), the worst thing that happens is the gasoline engine comes on, and the car will know how far you are from home, and it will only run the gas engine long enough to give you enough charge to get you home where you can actually plug it into the wall outlet. So the car will be smart enough to know where its home base is.
If only they hadn't ended up making the Volt look so blasé.