Mention the United States car industry these days and it's probably to discuss failing car giants and crusty petrolheads.
But certain things happening that side of the pond suggest if not a resurgence then certainly a new energy, in terms of making green ideas happen.
Design innovation stateside could have a big influence on your motoring choices in the future, as American innovators lead the charge towards green cars and green infrastructure.
General Motors are forcing the pace with their Chevy Volt, able to run on an electric motor for 40 miles before its petrol-powered generator kicks in. You can expect to see a version of it in Britain as soon as 2011.
The most surprising success story of course has been Tesla, the small Californian car company making a very big name for itself.
Tesla launched the all-electric Roaster in 2008, an accomplished sports car with zero direct emissions. With a range of over 200 miles and 0-60 in 3.9 seconds, this Lotus-tweaked sports car blazes a trail for electric innovation.
The Roadster's price is high (£86,950) but you shouldn't be put off in the long term. The price for electric cars will come down as the technology becomes cheaper, more refined and most importantly more popular.
Tesla are already moving ahead with their seven-seater Model S with a target price of more like £30,000.
Neither has the potential in the Tesla model been lost on European manufacturers. Last year Daimler bought a 10% share in the US manufacturer.
We know it takes more than electric cars to turn green motoring into a way of life. Nationwide infrastructure and policy changes are clearly needed to make running your EV practical, and this is where the US are also pressing ahead.
Barack Obama has said he wants one million plug-in vehicles on US roads by 2015, a target that looks increasingly realistic due to policy innovations nationwide.
Drop into MacDonald's in Cary, North Carolina for example and you can enjoy a free recharge with your Big Mac. Elsewhere, car parks the length and breadth of America are beginning to offer recharging services.
As of last September, Californian Tesla drivers are enjoying the benefits of the world's first EV charging corridor, five charging stations situated on Highway 101 between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Another is being built between Phoenix and Tucson and it's only a matter of time before more spring up all over the States.
And, because green motoring will be about diversity, there will be hydrogen-power. California has committed itself to creating the world's first 'hydrogen highway', aiming at 250 refuelling stations spread right across the state.
Such forward thinking shows a serious commitment on the part of the US to become a world leader in innovative technological solutions. Considering their poor worldwide reputation and the ongoing climate crisis, the US could offer us a model of what our own green cars and national infrastructure might look like in the not too distant future.