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Electric Car from the past

General Motors EV1


We cannot talk about Electric Cars without mentioning the General Motors EV1 (Electric Vehicle).

This car was only introduced in Arizona and California on a limited 3 years lease basis, as GM wanted to analyze and study this electric car before marketing it to the USA Market.

Between 1996 and 1999, 2234 units were manufactured.

Two types of batteries

1- Two generations of Lead Batteries:

The second generation of Panasonic Lead Batteries offered an autonomy between 75 to 150 miles (120 to 240 km) per charge.

8 hours for a full charge was required or a partial charge could be obtained in 1 to 3 hours.

2- NiMH Batteries:

A convenient portable charger came only with the Lead Batteries and there were problems with the first NiMH Batteries in hot weather.

The patent rights for the NiMH Batteries were sold by GM to an Oil Company in 2003 and are produced by Cobasys.

Cobasys has since provided NiMH batteries for 2 of GM Hybrid Vehicles:

1- The Saturn Aura Hybrid Sedan in 2007.

2- The 2008 Chevrolet Malibu, another hybrid car.

GM EV1 Speed

The EV1 acceleration was 0-60mph (0-100km/h) in 8 seconds and 0-50 mph (0-80 km/h) in 6.3 seconds.

The car top speed was electronically fixed at 80mph (130 km/h).

The EV1 equipped with the Lead Batteries met the EV standards of United States Department of Energy.

GM EV1 Destruction

In 2003, GM started recalling the EV1 cars because they had determined that this car would not be profitable to GM even if there was a consumer demand for this product.

They refused to sell the EV1 to the current leasers of the EV1 cars and despite a public outrage, they proceeded with the destruction of the EV1 cars.

They donated some of the EV1 cars for education purposes to schools and Museums, but they are prohibited from being put in working order.


Last EV1 Ride
Product from USA

Watch the "Who killed the Electric Car?" Documentary Video
Provided by:  www.CBC.CA