Monday, July 10, 2006

An Inconvenient Car

10 years ago there were a number of electric vehicles being made but one in particular really impressed its owners and had a waiting list of those who wanted to lease it. The car was named the EV1 and was manufactured by General Motors.

The car itself was priced at $33,995 but GM never sold a single unit. The lease ran $400-$550 per month and included a bumper to bumper warranty. The lease was three years and had no option to buy.

Even with the high price tag, the car was a loser for GM and was discontinued. As the leases ended the cars either ended up in musuems, universities, or was crushed.

It would have been a great go to town and come back car. A full charge took just three hours and would take you all of 80 miles. Hmmm, that would take me a couple of days just to drive up the coast 500 miles.

Article link.
As befits its title, ``Who Killed the Electric Car?'' begins with a funeral, a mock one, held at a real cemetery. It ends with an inquiry, one that implicates oil companies, auto manufacturers, the federal government, the California Air Resources Board and, yes, even you and me for murder of an automobile that looks like a winner in these days of high gas prices.

There were several makes of electric cars, but Chris Paine's trenchant documentary focuses primarily on General Motors' EV1. Launched in 1996, the car was fast and quiet, ran without exhaust, required no gas or oil changes and was so popular that dealers kept a waiting list with tens of thousands of names.

Technical specifications of 1998 GM EV1 Gen II NiMH

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