Tag: ev1

How many GM EV1s still exist, and do any of them still run? – Daniel Strohl @Hemmings

How many GM EV1s still exist, and do any of them still run? – Daniel Strohl @Hemmings


Every now and then, another forlorn dust-covered and inoperable GM EV1 makes the rounds on automotive websites and social media. Typically, it’s heralded as the last of its kind or a major discovery, and some people even make attempts to conceal the cars’ locations as if they were archaeological dig sites that needed to be protected from grave robbers and treasure plunderers. However, the reality is that many of the remaining EV1s not in GM’s hands are on public display, have been well publicized, or have become open secrets among generations of engineering graduates over the last 20 years or so. Amazingly, nobody seems to have made an attempt to run down the current whereabouts of all the GM EV1s still in existence, so let’s do so here.

First, a little background. GM built 1,117 EV1s for public release: 660 in 1997 and another 457 in 1999. None were sold to the general public; all were made available via a lease program to customers in California, Arizona, and Georgia. When those leases came to an end starting in 2003, GM took back every single EV1 and decreed that the cars would be removed from the road permanently. The subsequent crushing of many of the EV1s triggered protests from many of those lessees and others who felt that the car and its advanced technology deserved to remain on the road.

That said, GM didn’t destroy every EV1. Similar to what Chrysler did with the Turbine cars, the company donated some EV1s to museums and some to colleges and universities for their engineering students to pick apart and study. In all but one instance, the donated cars were made inoperable, and as part of the deal, GM mandated that the vehicles not be returned to the road.

But how many exactly escaped GM’s crusher? Sources generally claim 40, but that’s not a hard and fast number, and occasionally somebody will claim less—either 15 or 20. One EV1 fan claims there are as many as 180 EV1s, though some of those may be concept, demonstration, or show cars still owned by GM, and some of that number may have been crushed by GM. According to EV collector Steve Hawkins of the Beata collection, 37 total still exist, with nine of those currently in private hands, though as he noted, owners of the cars still prefer to remain secretive and a tight-knit group. “Just in the last couple of years we discovered another complete original car, but the contacts, trust and relationships to get that information developed over a decade of what we call ‘social engineering,'” Hawkins said. “There is another EV1 we are trying to identify now that will likely take years to verify. Our mission is to help every remaining chassis survive for history and education’s sake.”

Read on

Mythbusting: The truth about the GM EV1 – Gary Witzenburg @Hagerty


About halfway down the long hill leading to the General Motors Proving Ground test tracks in Milford, Michigan, it hit me that the electric concept car I was driving rolled on a cobbled-up show-car suspension and was armed with barely functional brakes. Uh-oh! It would be a supremely stupid, costly, career-ending blunder to crash this incredibly significant hand-built prototype EV by plowing off the fast 90-degree corner that awaited down the hill. Though the concept was called the Impact, I had no intention of putting that name to the test.

But wait! I recalled that the Impact featured variable regenerative braking with a rheostat control between the seats. I eased on the friction brakes, cranked the rheostat up to full regen, and barely made the corner. Whew! Shaken and chastened, I continued carefully to where I—as GM EV program Vehicle Test and Development manager—was heading to give members of the Board of Directors demo rides on the “Black Lake” skidpad.

Dramatic beginnings

At the 1990 Los Angeles Auto Show, people stopped in their tracks to gawk at this sleek, silver-bullet-shaped concept that would later morph into the EV1. Engineered and developed with high-tech California contractor Aerovironment, the Impact did more than just look cool. It could sprint from zero to 60 mph in a (then-quick) eight seconds and had achieved—in one test from 100 percent to absolute zero state of charge under ideal conditions at GM’s Arizona Desert Proving Grounds—a stunning 125 miles of range. At the time, that was better performance than any other practical electric car could claim.

Many saw it as the industry’s automotive future. Idealists cheered while skeptics scoffed. Politicians plotted to force-feed it to the American public. So positive was its press and public reception that on April 22, 1990 (Earth Day) GM CEO Roger Smith announced GM’s intent to produce such a car, targeting 25,000 units a year. Ken Baker, then head of Advanced Vehicle Engineering for GM’s Chevrolet-Pontiac-Canada Group, was recruited to lead the effort.

“We recognized the obvious shortcoming of EVs,” Baker later said. “Our plan was to be battery agnostic—take the best available and focus on engineering the world’s most efficient vehicle, which would give dramatically better performance once a better battery came along. We had just come off of the success of the [race-winning solar-powered] SunRaycer and were encouraged by the sold-state electronics that had been demonstrated in that car, and [in] Impact

One key goal was to see how quickly and efficiently GM could do a completely different new car through a new Systems Engineering approach. The production target was just 36 months.

Then, by September 28, 1990, California’s Air Resources Board (CARB) mandated the seven top-selling automakers to make two percent of their California sales “zero emissions” by 1998, five percent by 2001, and 10 percent by 2003.

Myth: GM’s EV program was a reaction to the CARB mandate.

Truth: Other way around. GM was already working to produce a practical electric car, so CARB decided to force all major automakers to follow suit.

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Unseen General Motors EV1 Artifacts | Unboxing the Archives – Petersen Museum


Discover the one of the first mass produced electric cars, the #GeneralMotors​ EV1. On this episode of Unboxing the Archives, join Laura as she takes us through the history of #alternativefuels​. From steam to electric, explore everything from the #StanleySteam​ car to the EV1 that traveled across the country.

The General Motors EV1 was the first modern, mass-produced electric vehicle (EV) built by a major manufacturer. A development of GM’s 1990 Impact concept car, the EV1 was aerodynamic, lightweight, and easy to operate. It also had a range acceptable for long-distance commuting. Consumers could only lease, not buy, the cars from select dealers in California, Arizona, and Georgia. After four years of costly production, the EV1 was discontinued and all but 40 cars were dismantled.

Laura recommends the following for further reading on alternative power:

“Turbine Electric Car” Popular Science, September 1975 by E.F. Lindsley: https://books.google.com/books?id=RwE…

More information about Glenn L. Martin https://www.kwu.edu/node/417/alumni-r…

A website dedicated to technical information relating to Stanley Motor Carriage Company Steam Cars and the restoration of a Model 735 Stanley http://www.stanleymotorcarriage.com

Kris Trexler’s Blog about his cross-country trip in the EV1 http://www.kingoftheroad.net/charge_a…

Don’t miss any of our upcoming videos. Subscribe here: https://bit.ly/2OKoSM2​​​​​

General Motors’ EV1 was far ahead of its time Bill Vance @TimesColonist


General Motors knew the electric automotive age was coming when it showed its Impact electric concept car in 1990. It was another step in the history of trying to promote a successful electric car, a quest going back to the infancy of the automobile.

While electrics and steam did enjoy brief popularity early in the 20th century, gasoline soon took over. The electric’s short driving range limited it largely to urban driving, and range is still an electric’s limitation.

Read the rest of the article here

EV Woes Once Again


It would appear that the ongoing credibility problem with electric vehicles is no nearer to being resolved when you see stories such as this Tesla story from the Register

I still wonder where we would have been had GM and other manufacturers had not ditched the earlier EV programmes as detailed in the film, “Who Killed the Electric Car”

You can see ex GM CEO Rick Wagoner explaining his take on the EV1 here

Well known green activist Ed Begley is still running around in a Toyota RAV4 EV from some years back

As for me, I’ve no objection to EV’s’ but I’m not prepared to to lose the convenience factor and pay the extra cost at this point.

In the galleries below you can see some photos of the GM EV1 and the Ford EV concept  that are  in the Petersen Auto Museum taken during our visit


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Ford EV