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PHOTO CAPTION: GM CEO Rick Wagoner behind wheel of Chevy Cruze equipped with E-Flex electric drive in Washington DC on December 4, 2008.

My Volt-Powered Test Drive

CNBC's Phil LeBeau gets behind the wheel of the Chevy Volt... after NBC Today Show host Matt Lauer.

Published: 09-Jan-2009

OK, let's get first things first, I wasn't first. It was Matt Lauer from the Today Show. So officially I was the second person outside of General Motors [GM 4.03 -0.01 (-0.25%) ] to drive the company's electric car, the Chevy Volt. Will talk more about being second in just a bit, but let me first tell you my impression from driving the Volt. Impressive. Very impressive.

I spent part of Wednesday afternoon tooling around GM's tech center in a "mule" version of the Volt. When I hit the gas, the acceleration was instant. Like all electric cars, the torque and response from the car is immediate. The Volt will deliver the same performance you would get from a car with 250 horse power.

The other thing that stands out about the Volt is how smooth and quiet it is. There is not the whirring sound that I have heard in other electric cars I have driven. It also feels effortless when you are driving it. All around, I can see why executives at GM have growing confidence the Volt will deliver everything that's been promised.

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