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Watch | Ride Shotgun With an Electric Car Test Driver

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

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.

Ilya Marritz/WNYC/WNYC
Ilya Marritz/WNYC/WNYC
Ilya Marritz/WNYC/WNYC
Ilya Marritz/WNYC/WNYC
Ilya Marritz/WNYC/WNYC
Ilya Marritz/WNYC/WNYC
Ilya Marritz/WNYC/WNYC
Ilya Marritz/WNYC/WNYC
Ilya Marritz/WNYC/WNYC
Ilya Marritz/WNYC

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Comments [3]

Eric Rotbard from White Plains, NY

I live in Rockland County- there is no Metro North train service to White Plains. Also, my schedule requires frequent travel in the area, which makes public transportation much less convenient. In my opinion, people will do what is best for them. So, I believe that people will be environmentally responsible if doing so is not onerous. Transitioning personal transportation to electricity has the potential to be the perfect "have your cake and eat it too" proposition.

Mar. 01 2011 04:19 PM
Juan

Then, why we should keep a washing machine and dryer at each home when we have shops that provide the same servide in bulk?.. Mass transit systems ONLY are economically feasible and work efficiently where there is a mass population to serve. On sub urban communities that concept does not work at all.

Mar. 01 2011 03:33 PM
mass trans from White Plains

why not take the bus? Why not take the train? not to mention, you failed to mention the upstream cost. this future car runs on coal/atomic/natural gas which is converted to electricity in a costly manner. it's still selfish transportation if there are mass transit alternatives and the owner fails to recognize them (metro north does stop in White Plains). all i see here is more consumption - driving solo, passing the buck and a failure to change personal habits and engage in responsibility.

Mar. 01 2011 08:37 AM

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