Electric vehicles have stormed into the American consciousness with news like the release of the Chevy Volt and the development of home chargers fueling the EV enthusiasm. But have EVs thoroughly penetrated mainstream culture? Here are the 10 clearest signs that EVs have officially hit the big-time:

10. Leo’s got one. So do Matt Damon, Tom Hanks, and Bill Nye the Science Guy. Clooney’s even got 2 of them.

9. Tokyo taxis are running on batteries that are switched out at stations in just 73 seconds (hard to believe? here’s the video). And NYC is powered up and ready to drive (emissions-free, that is).

8. EVs are now the topic of pop songs…

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7. …Not to mention rap songs.

6. Jeff Immelt is planning to buy 25,000 of them.

5. Big cities around the country are ready for them.

4. They’ve even become the stars of movies!

3. On Facebook, more people “like” the Chevy Volt than “like” you…

2. They’re not just about being good for the environment — one EV (the Tesla Roadster) accelerates faster than a Porsche, a Corvette, and a Ferrari.

1.They’re winning awards: Motor Trend named the Chevy Volt its 2011 Car of the Year, and the Nissan Leaf beat 40 other vehicles to be named Europe’s 2011 “car of the year.”

In a flash: Scientific American calls the sports edition of the Tesla Roadster “blistering fast” — it can go from zero to 60 miles per hour in 3.7 seconds. Photo: Tesla.

* Take a look at GE’s other EV research over the years
* Read “Dual Battery Breakthrough Eyes Electric Bus and Truck Fleets”
* See our infographic on the 10 Best Cities for Electric Vehicles