In case you don't remember Chelsea Sexton is the co-star of Who Killed the Electric Car (the star is of course the EV1). She's been badgering GM for a long time about the Volt, desiring to get a test drive situation, and recently did so accompanied by the crew of "Revenge of the Electric Car" (Chris Paine's follow-on movie). She seems to have spent a full day there, asked lots of questions, test-drove it several times, etc.
"oh, this is fine, let’s just get on with production already"
She describes it as being very polished and whatnot, very much unlike the EV's built in the 90's. Those were hand-built one at a time and I suppose each had small variances. The Volt is meant for mass production which will stamp out all unique variances of each vehicle.
While the acceleration is quite good (0-60 in 9 seconds), I was admittedly spoiled by the "off the line" performance of GM’s last EV, and the Volt doesn’t quite have the initial surge I was expecting as its progeny.
I got to test-drive the EV1 twice and it was a fast car. I didn't try flooring it, however I saw someone else do so and they got the tires to squeal.
I also failed to talk the guys into letting me drive the Volt in range-extended mode-
I didn't know this but apparently nobody has seen it running with the gas engine in operation. The head engineer gave her a strange explanation: "well, when the engine comes on, you can hear it".
I still don’t know that they entirely understand the nuances of passion people have for electric cars- but I do think that they understand just what’s at stake for this one. It is the end of the poker game for GM, and they’re all in.
The deadline for building 80 "actual" Volts (prototype vehicles) is in the order of "days" and it seems that GM may be seeing this project as the one which will keep GM alive. Of course there's a lot of political-business stuff swirling around GM right now, this week in fact.
Earlier in the post she described how people were willing to be arrested over the EV1. That was shown in WKtEC and it's rather amazing .. it's just a car, it's a product made by a company just like any other product made by any company. But something motivated them to go to that length to keep that car alive.