DETROIT, Sept. 29 (UPI) -- A spokesman for U.S. automaker General Motors said former owners of GM's electrically powered EV1 could help market the soon-to-be-released hybrid Volt.
GM has recruited 15 former EV1 owners to test drive the Volt, which will have a battery range of 25-50 miles. After that, a gasoline engine kicks in, the Detroit Free Press reported Wednesday.
Spokesman Dave Darovitz said this group could help spread the word the Volt was worthy of consideration.
In 1996-1999, GM produced the all-electric EV1, which had a range of 140 miles on electrical power. After production stopped, it pulled the leased cars off the road.
Some former EV1 owners, gathered for meetings and tours of Volt production in Detroit, said they were leaning towards buying an all-electric Nissan Leaf, also due to be released soon. Others were leaning toward the Volt.
Some EV1 owners had complained the EV1 should have had a back-up gas-powered engine. The Volt has that, convincing some that GM listened to their concerns. But the gas engine also meant sacrificing range between charge-ups.
The Volt's range of 25-50 miles on electric power, "is basically a joke," said Doug Korthof, a former EV1 owner.
Former EV1 owner, Chelsea Sexton, said the Volt was more fun than the Leaf. Another former owner of the electric car, Kris Trexler of Los Angeles said, "There's no way I'm not going to get one," referring to the Volt, which is due out in November.