1997 GM EV1
Returned to GM 25.November.2003 with 29,297 miles on the odometer
Please click links at the top to view more photos.
We were fortunate to secure one of the final 2-year leases on an EV1 - the first modern production full-featured EV by GM. We took delivery of this car on 27.November.2001, and it had 11,743 miles on the clock. On 25.November.2003, we were forced to return the car to GM. This is the car that Kim and I fought over. Our EV1 commuted 40 miles every day on about 10 kWh of electricity from the socket ($1 of electricity - if we actually purchased our electricity. See my solar page). Generally, this car was charged in our garage for about 1.5 hrs/day, during off-peak hours, while we slept. When our lease ran out, we had no choice but to give it up. GM would not extend the leases nor allow the vehicles to be purchased for any price. As far as I know, this is the only time in history that perfectly good cars were taken off the road by the manufacturer - especially painful when these are among the very few cars that are part of the solution. Of the 1150 EV1s that were ever made, there are likely just two or three still driving around. The last private lease expired in August of 2004.
The EV1 movie that I made just before returning the car to GM. It wasn't long after taking this video that my beautiful car was destroyed.
URL of high-rez Darell EV1 video.
Here is a promo bit on the EV1. Note that the specs given are all in relation to the original, crappy batteries that offered very little range. These were soon changed out to the Panasonic lead acid batteries, and then finally the NiMH batteries which both offered superior range and reliability.
URL of hi-rez EV1 promo video.
EV1 funeral video below is what started the movement to save the production EVs. We were too late for the EV1, but have done quite well on the rest! More on the funeral here.
This was a two-seater that is capable of astonishing, quiet acceleration. 0 - 60 mph, this is the quickest car I have ever driven. When pushed hard, bystanders typically only hear the front tires squealing on the pavement. I have NEVER had more fun driving a vehicle than what I experienced with this great car. That the car is quiet and pollution-free is just icing on the cake. If you don't think electric cars can perform, you have not driven an EV1. While immature and inherently unsafe - beating Camaros and Mustang 5L's onto the freeway is still great fun.
After GM removed these from the road and offered a few of them to universities and museums, they crushed the rest. See the flat EV1s. GM did not fail to succeed with the EV1 program. GM succeeded to fail. Be sure to see Who Killed the Electric Car to learn more about how and why this happened.
From the original owner's manual: