1999 GMC EV1 (Electric Vehicle EV1 Impact) Conceptcarz com

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General Motors EV1

1999 GMC EV1 news, pictures, specifications, and information


The EV1 was an attempt by General Motors to create an alternative to the internal combustion engine. This was not the first production vehicle to be powered by batteries; alternative fuel sources had been used since the early production of the automobile. When vehicle production fist began there were three prominent sources of power for vehicles, and it took a number of years before the internal combustion engine ultimately prevailed.

Steam and electric vehicles were very popular, especially with women. They were easy to operate, clean, and quiet. There was no smoke, fume, or odors.

It would be centuries before electric power would make a come-back and the driving force were both environmental issues and the escalating price of fuel. During the 1970’s experimentation was done with little success. They reappeared in the 1990’s this time being championed by legislation seeking to reduce pollution, mainly in California.

Under this legislation, GM created the electric prototype vehicle which they debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Show under the name ‘Impact’. There was positive reaction to the vehicle so it was put into limited production and designated ‘EV1′. It carried a sticker price of $33,995 but never technically sold any vehicles.

Rather they leased the vehicles to consumers for three years at an average price of $399 to $549 per month. The lease included a bumper-to-bumper warranty and roadside assistance. Power windows, CD player, and air-conditioning were all offered as standard equipment.

There were three color options that included red, dark green and blue silver.

The cars were designed to be recharged outside using a special plastic-coated paddle that fit into a slot located at the front of the car. There were three options for recharging the car. A special 220-volt charging station was installed at the owner’s home and would set the buyer back an additional $1000 to $2500. Recharging took only three hours.

Various charging stations were also established at shopping centers and municipal buildings in California and Arizona. The final charging option was a mobile unit that fit into the trunk and could be plugged into a 110-volt outlet. The drawback to this option was that it took around 15 hours to fully recharge.

General Motors EV1

A full charge would last for about 80 miles.

In 1994 on a track in Texas, an EV-1 set a speed record for electric vehicles by achieving a 184 mph top speed, though the production versions were limited to 80 mph. It was reported that the 137 horsepower engine could propel the vehicle from zero-to-sixty in less than three seconds while the zero-to-sixty time took about 8.5 seconds.

The cars were popular, even with celebrities such as Ed Begley, Jr. Barry Manilow, Danny DeVito, and Ted Danson. Many tried to outright purchase the vehicle from GM, but GM denied their requests.

When the leases expired many of the EV1’s were crushed, while others made their way into museums or universities.

The program was expensive and GM lost money on the program. Many people were upset when the company abandoned the program in 2001 once all the lease programs were expired. Nonetheless, it was an excellent attempt at finding alternative means to powering vehicles.

By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2010

General Motors EV1
General Motors EV1
General Motors EV1
General Motors EV1
General Motors EV1

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