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Canada: Victoria attorney races to buy electric car (video)

It began as a simple question between father and son: Why weren’t cars electric, like toy trains?

“My dad just said, ‘That’s not the way it is,'” said John Griffin, who grew up to become a managing partner with Marek, Griffin & Knaupp Attorneys at Law. “But my train was quiet and it didn’t need spark plugs or oil changes. I thought cars should be like that.”

That childhood wonder eventually led Griffin to jump aboard the electric bandwagon as Victoria County’s first Chevrolet Volt owner.

The road to that purchase wasn’t exactly a short one.

Griffin kept tabs on the industry through the years, he said, recalling General Motors’s EV1. The electric car came out in the ’90s and, although he couldn’t afford it at the time, it didn’t matter.

It was pulled from the market shortly after its release.

A few years later, however, came rumblings about the Volt, an electric car with a backup gas generator. Once rumors proved true, Griffin wanted in.

“I called buddies at Atzenhoffer and put down a deposit,” he said of the $34,000 car. “I told them I wanted the first one.”

Thus in May, after about a year on that list and a few months after the car rolled out in Austin, his white Volt with its leather seats and high-tech console was in.

Scott McConnell, who sold Griffin the car at Atzenhoffer Chevrolet, Cadillac, Mazda Mitsubishi, said the car was an exciting addition to the showroom.

A demo version arrived shortly before Griffin’s, allowing employees a first-hand look at the environmentally-friendly vehicle. Griffin’s reaction was another high point.

“He knew just as much about it as I did, and I had to go through excessive training,” McConnell said with a laugh. “He was ecstatic.”

Griffin’s wife, Lynn Knaupp, said she wasn’t surprised when her better half purchased the Volt. He’d talked about it for years, she said, and he finally got his chance.

“It’s kind of his fancy toy,” said Knaupp, who owns a Ford Escape hybrid. “And it’s really fun to drive somewhere and not have to put any gas into the car.”
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