Who Killed the Electric Car?

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Electric Cars

Who Killed the Electric Car?

A on the Demise of GM’s EV1 Electric Car

2006 AA1Car

Electric were supposed to be the cars of the Clean, efficient and quiet, us to and fro while being kind to the and our pocketbooks. The EV1 electric car built by Motors was to have been the of what would be a whole new era in transportation.

But the dream was aborted after its birth.

A documentary Who Killed the Electric Car? by Pictures, reports on the ill-fated Motors EV1 electric car that was briefly from 1997 to in California (This is a must see for anyone who loves conspiracy about oil companies and car makers together to squash electric

General Motors reluctantly the car to comply with California regulations which required makers to sell a certain of zero-emission vehicles in that When the regulations were due to pressure from the car makers and oil GM abruptly pulled the plug on the The cars were all leased so GM took all of the cars back their owners and had the cars and destroyed.

End of story.

GM’s Car Prototype

At a GM press conference in 1990, I saw and drove the first for what would later GM’s EV1 production electric The car was originally named Impact. GM decided Impact was not the best for a motor vehicle because of its connotations (like accident, crash, injury, death).

I still have the original kit somewhere around here.

is an excerpt from an article I 10 years ago about GM’s car:

Report on GM’s Electric Car by Larry Carley

At the Chicago auto show, GM its plans for the future: an electric-powered two-seater called the Impact. by 840 lbs. of conventional lead-acid the 2,550 lb. aluminum-framed, plastic car could zip to 60 mph in 8 seconds and travel 125 on a single battery charge.

On 11, 1994, a slightly modified with six additional batteries set a speed record for an electric vehicle of 183.822 miles per proving that electric don’t have to be slugs.

In 1995, GM built a test of 50 Impacts for what would be a 12 city ride-and-drive evaluation involving 1,000 different By giving people a chance to drive and live with an car, GM is gaining invaluable experience with the car before it is for the mass market. So far, the have been very Eighty-three percent of those who driven the car for a week or more it meets their needs.

The average cost to drive the car the ultimate cost of replacing the has been 3.75 cents per at standard residential electric (equivalent fuel operating to a gasoline-powered vehicle that 40 to 45 mpg).

The test fleet of Impacts are essentially production-ready They have such features as dual air bags, brakes, cruise control, and air conditioning. The cars tip the scales at lbs. which is up over 400 from the first prototype.

The range is about 70 miles driving and 90 miles on the highway the lead-acid battery pack. to 60 mph acceleration is still in the 8-second thanks to a 137 horsepower three-phase AC motor running on 312 volts of from the battery pack. The can be recharged in two to three hours a 220 volt, 30 amp charger.

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The prototype cars were close to what would the EV1 production car. At the time, I understand why GM was taking so long to put the into production, and when did go on sale why GM limited the sales to a of cars. Wasn’t this the car the had been waiting for?

To me, it like the perfect solution for low urban commuting. Blame the for the Car’s Demise

I knew the lead-acid battery would limit the car’s initially, but I assumed GM would its work on battery development and a second generation battery with nickel cadmium. ion, aluminum/air or whatever to the car a greater range. That never happened. I also that down the road GM eventually offer a gasoline/electric version of the EV1 to extend its range so it be more than an urban car.

GM did build some hybrid/electric cars based on the EV1 but did nothing with them.

not privy to the inner politics and behind the demise of the EVi at GM, but from I’ve learned from GM the EV1 was a car GM executives never wanted to The car was built to comply with zero emission regulations were subsequently dropped to intense lobbying efforts by the car NOT the public). One GM engineer told me GM was thousands of dollars on every EV1 it because of the expensive battery

Apparently it was easier or more to get the law changed than to find to reduce production costs.

Are Cars the Answer to $4 a Gallon

In retrospect, it is too bad that GM did not stay the and become a leader in developing and the electric car market. GM has built great (and not so great) over the years, but the EV1 was something was a real breakthrough.

If the EV1 were available today, even its limited range lead-acid pack, they would be like hot cakes and dealers have buyers standing in ready to pay full list and then some for a vehicle needs no gasoline. And as the price of continues to soar, demand for the cars would only GM would be gaining market not losing it, and would have a edge over all of its competitors Toyota and Honda who have the leaders in hybrid technology.

But do I know? I’m just a car not a bean counter or an over-paid

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Update: November 2010

GM Chevy Volt Extended Electric Hybrid

To much GM introduced their Chevy plug-in extended range car as their answer to the Toyota hybrid. Essentially an electric-powered car a gasoline engine for a generator, the Volt offers extended (up to 400 miles) when the electric in the battery is used up. The Volt’s in full electric mode from 25 to 50 miles, giving it the equivalent fuel economy of 93 per gallon while running on power alone.

The Chevy Volt’s list is a hefty $40,280, but is offset by a federal energy tax credit. GM to sell upwards of 30,000 in 2011.

For an overview of the Chevy Click Here .

Update: 2011

Sales of Chevy Lags Projections

Chevy it failed to reach its sales of 10,000 Volts in 2011. sold fewer than Volts, a disappointing figure GM had the capacity to build and sell times that number. sales were blamed on the economy.

Update: March

GM Temporarily Halts Production of Volt

Though gasoline have been inching the $4 per gallon mark, General said it has temporarily suspended of the Chevy Volt due to sluggish and a huge backlog of unsold Volts in dealer inventories. say the car is overpriced for what it delivers, and not make economic sense to other cars that are of delivering 40 miles per gallon for the price of a Volt (such as the Cruze).

Update December

Chevy Volt Outsells in 2013 by a Significant Margin

General Motors reported it has sold nearly 21,000 Volts in 2013, compared to 13,000 Corvettes. Based on sales figures, it looks the clean practical plug-in range electric car is outselling number one sports car.

The Volt’s main competitor in the electric car market in 2013 was the Leaf (over 20,000 followed by the Tesla Model S 16,000 sold), the Toyota PHEV (over 11,000 )and Ford C-Max (over 6,000 sold).

electric car sales are up over 300 in 2013. Compared to the number of vehicles and conventional vehicles were sold in 2013, numbers are still very — due in part to the limited of lithium-ion batteries. Even so, it show growing public in electric vehicles and a slow away from petroleum fuels.

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