Ilya Marritz covers business for WNYC.
An attorney from White Plains traded his Camaro for a chance to be a test driver for the Chevrolet Volt, an electric car that he has used to commute 14 miles from his home to West Nyack since November.
Eric Rotbard joined the likes of former CIA Director James Woolsey and “Top Chef” contestant Bryan Voltaggio when he signed on as a test driver for the car last year. Months later, he still gets a kick out of the car's futuristic features and said the battery's 40-mile range has generally been enough to meet his daily needs (the Volt has a backup gasoline engine for longer trips).
GM’s new Volt recently won Motor Trend’s car of the year award, and Nissan has a battery-powered vehicle – the Leaf – that’s also now being sold. In his 2011 State of the Union Address, President Barack Obama called for greater energy independence and set a goal of 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015. Today, there are only a few hundred Americans driving electrics.
Rotbard says the car battery’s 40-mile range has generally been enough to meet his daily needs (the Volt has a backup gasoline engine for longer trips). And he gets a kick out of the car’s futuristic features, like the dashboard touchscreen control panel.