[ad#post_ad]Greetings from Los Angeles! My name is Kris Trexler. I’m an LA-based film editor, and one of 16 lucky people GM selected to be on the Volt Customer Advisory Board. Like other CAB members, I’m driving a pre-production Volt for 3 months. GM selected me because I formerly leased one of their wonderful EV1 electric cars from 1996-2003. When the EV1’s lease was up, I purchased a 2004 Toyota Prius which served me well for 120,000 miles. I held no ill will towards GM at the end of the EV1 program, and would have considered a GM hybrid had one been available in 2003. When the Volt concept car was announced, I was thrilled that GM got back in the EV game, and followed the production car’s progress. I placed an order for a Crystal Red Volt which I’ll take delivery of in a few weeks. When GM invited me to be on the CAB, I enthusiastically responded YES!

I drove my EV1 further than most people who leased them. In 1998, I drove my EV1 from Los Angeles to Detroit on a 2 week adventure not affiliated with GM. I wanted to show off GM’s cutting edge technology in places where the EV1 was not available. There was never a problem with the car, and the EV1 received great publicity as the trip unfolded. I coined my adventure “Charge Across America,” and you can learn more about the trip on my website and see a CNBC story about it:

As of December 1, I accumulated 1,800 trouble-free miles on the CAB Volt, validating my decision to buy one. The Volt is a wonder to behold, fun to drive, cheap to operate, and friendly to Mother Nature. GM made a wise choice to give the Volt “extended range” capabilities. I never “ran out of juice” in my EV1, but that was because I was careful to plan my daily drives. But “range anxiety” was ever present, something Volt owners will never deal with. The Volt will be my only vehicle, other than several classic cars I own.

I’ve been charging the Volt 3x/week, rarely needing the generator except for an 850 mile trouble-free roundtrip from LA to San Francisco on Thanksgiving weekend. I drove the Volt between 75-85 mph, and it effortlessly zipped up the 6% “Grapevine” grade at 70 mph on I-5 north of Los Angeles. My Volt passed many struggling ICE’s on the grade.

Off-peak electric rates with the LA Department of Water and Power are a mere 9 cents per kilowatt hour (versus 22 cents peak). DWP installed a “whole-house time of use meter” at my home to enable me to take advantage of the low off-peak rates.

Since few people have driven a Volt, I made a video which lets you see the driver’s displays in various modes. I did not narrate the video so viewers can hear the actual sounds in the Volt’s interior while driving. Each segment is captioned to inform. Other than tire/road noise, you don’t hear much inside a Volt, including a nearly silent ICE generator which runs when the battery charge is depleted. My battery-only range varied between 35-50 miles depending on driving style. The Volt has a lot of torque, encouraging me to enjoy its peppy acceleration. Drive the Volt hard and on hilly terrain, and battery range will be reduced. Drive it with moderate acceleration and you’ll drive further on each battery charge.

Enjoy the video and listen to the sounds of the incredible Volt!