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Los Angeles, CA, May 5, 1998 Los Angeles-based film editor and automobile enthusiast Kris Trexler is embarking on a 3,000-mile "Charge Across America" in his personal General Motors EV1 electric car. This is the first time such an odyssey has been attempted in America's first modern-era production electric automobile. A special Internet Web site has been created for enthusiasts to follow Trexlers progress, which begins in Los Angeles on May 12, 1998. A surprise eastern destination will be announced later.
Trexler cites his excitement about the EV1 and a love for the open road as inspiration for his trip. "This environmentally-friendly, non-polluting car has been the best-performing and most-reliable vehicle Ive ever owned," said Trexler. The EV1 is all-electric, operating from internal batteries which the owner charges at home, or at public charging stations. "Moreover," says Trexler, "this little gem has the look and performance of a sports car, with all of the latest amenities." Trexler has logged over 14,000 miles in his fire-engine red EV1 since December 5, 1996.
The 3,000 mile trip, which is proceeding without the involvement of GM, is logistically quite challenging, Trexler reports. "On the open road, my first-generation EV1 can get upwards of 80 miles on a full charge, but that can be dramatically impacted by the terrain and driving style," he says. "The Charge Across America will be faced with a significant amount of mountainous terrain, which can diminish the cars range." As a consequence, Trexler has spent months analyzing alternative routes, and pre-arranging charging stops, many with local public utilities. Although there are approximately 450 public "fast charging" stations (45 minutes for an 80% "fill up" says Trexler) in the Los Angeles, Palm Springs and Phoenix metropolitan areas where the EV1 is available for lease, the route outside these cities will require Trexler to depend upon a portable charger with frequent stops during the day to "plug in."
The EV1 comes with a portable 110v 1.2 kilowatt "convenience charger" which will provide a complete charge in about 15 hours, and a 220v 6.6 kilowatt home charger which will provide an 80% charge in 45 minutes or a full charge in about 3 hours. Normally intended to be wired into your garage by a professional electrician, Trexler has temporarily mounted his 220v charger on a small hand-truck and will take it along for the ride. Nonetheless, with 220v 40amp service not commonly available, Trexler has had to pre-arrange places to plug in, most often with local utility companies. "Without their cooperation," said Trexler, "this trip would take 3 months." As it is, with over 40 stops planned, the journey will require two weeks.
Trexlers route will take his EV1 from Los Angeles west to Phoenix, then to the Grand Canyon and historic Route 66 eastbound. Subsequent waypoints will include Oklahoma City, Wichita, St. Louis and Indianapolis, leading to a yet-unannounced destination in the eastern part of the U.S. The entire route, as well as a wealth of information including photographs and statistics -- can be viewed on a special Internet Web site set up for the event. In addition, Trexler will be carrying an Apple Computer-provided PowerPC Portable computer and digital camera, and will file reports from the road each evening. Enthusiasts who point their browsers at www.ev1.pair.com can follow the journey each day.
General Motors first announced its intention to manufacture an electric car at the Los Angeles Auto Show on January 3, 1990. After surviving troubled times at GM, production of the EV1 was officially announced six years later at the same show, on January 4, 1996. Delivery was estimated for the fall of that year. The GM EV1 is the first passenger vehicle to bear the GM logo.
The EV1 is available by lease only from Saturn dealers in the Los Angeles, San Diego, Palm Springs, San Francisco, Sacramento, Phoenix, and Tucson test markets. In addition to having much to benefit from a completely non-polluting vehicle, these populous metropolitan areas enjoy a year-round warm climate. Cold weather dramatically reduces the performance of lead-acid batteries such as those used in the first-generation EV1. GM has recently announced a second-generation EV1 with longer-range Nickel-Metal-Hydride (NiMH) batteries which are not affected by cold weather.
Kris Trexler is an Emmy®-award winning film editor based in Los Angeles. He has received two awards for his work including the critically-acclaimed Ellen television series. But he is most passionate about cars. He is a fixture among Los Angeles car enthusiasts, an active member of numerous car clubs and a loving restorer of period automobiles, especially from the 50s and 60s. The EV1 represents both his vision and his dream of the car of the future, and he enthusiastically awaits the day when all of his fellow citizens can "Charge Across America."
All trademarks and registered trademarks are those of their respective companies. Kris Trexler is not affiliated with General Motors Corporation in any way, and is not receiving sponsorship for this trip.
The text of this release as well as substantial additional background information may be downloaded from the "Charge Across America" Web site at http://www.ev1.pair.com .