Felix Kramer: Proud Owner of Leaf and Volt

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If there's anyone dedicated to electric cars, it's a California man named Felix Kramer. In 2006 he became the world's first owner of a plug-in hybrid. Now he has the distinction of another first -- the first person to own both a Chevrolet Volt and a Nissan Leaf.

Now, Kramer is not your ordinary consumer -- he is the founder of California Cars Initiative, which promotes plug-in vehicles. And never let it be said that Kramer does not practice what he preaches.

Kramer consulted with Chevrolet during the development of the Volt, which also has a small gas engine to run the car after the electric power runs out. He received the ninth Volt that came off the production line. He's had it since late December, he wrote for The Solar Home and Business Journal:

Since then I’ve put 2,200 miles on it. I made two long trips from the Bay Area to Lake Tahoe and back without refueling, something that never could have been done by a plug-in before. Tahoe is 225 miles away with 8,000 miles of elevation going over the Sierras. The Tesla Roadster, which has a 245-mile range, would have to stop and refuel along the way.

Kramer got his Leaf in late January. The all-electric car has a range of about 100 miles, perfect for getting around town:

It’s quite obvious to me that for two-car families, it’s no problem in any way for the second vehicle to be an all-electric because that’s the car used for local driving. There’s an enormous market of tens of millions for all-electric vehicles despite Americans’ so-called range anxiety.

Kramer wrote that he and his wife have worked out a system to decide which car to drive:

In our family, the Leaf will be the car my wife and I will pick first every day when we’re in the Bay Area. When we're both driving or we want to travel beyond the range of the Leaf, we’ll take the Volt.

He added that he really hasn't had time to compare the vehicles, but wrote that they have "very different personalities."

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