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Interior of the Chevrolet Volt electric concept car on display at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. - 


SCOTT JAGOW: At the Shanghai auto show today, GM unveils a new car called the Volt. It runs on a fuel cell and apparently can go for 300 miles on it. Alisa Roth has more on GM's thinking here.

ALISA ROTH: The technology is clean and very cutting edge.

And that's the problem — it's so cutting edge that it doesn't exactly exist yet. GM is planning to have the car in production by the end of the decade, but that might not really be the point.

Alan Baum is a consultant with the Michigan firm The Planning Edge. He says GM knows the alternative fuel business is the, well, key to its success.

Turning out prototypes like the Volt is a way to show Wall Street that it's on the right road.

ALAN BAUM: They want to be viewed as a global company that is in fact going in the right direction, as opposed to what many people view them as a North American company going in the wrong direction.

North Americans still aren't buying GM cars. But people in Asia, Latin America and elsewhere are. GM's reporting record sales around the world.

In New York, I'm Alisa Roth for Marketplace.