MotorTrend’s Angus MacKenzie has published a provocative and thoughtful piece on the inadequacies of the EV-1. Many new visitors to GM-Volt.com seem to get here after seeing Who Killed the Electric Car, something I ascertain through many of the emails I get.
In the Motortrend piece it was explained that the EV-1 evolved from an earlier GM electric car concept called the Impact, unveiled at the 1990 auto show. After GM announced they would produce it, California responded with the mandate that 2% of all cars sold there by 1998 would have to be zero emission vehicles (i.e. electric).
Required to do so, GM went on to make the EV-1. It used lead acid batteries which held 0.4% as much energy as the same weight of gasoline. Thus the EV-1 weighed 2970 lbs, 1175 lbs of which were the batteries. The resulting range was 90/70 miles hwy/city. To achieve this, the tiny two-seater also had to have the record lowest CD, the most advanced powertrain of the day, and a cost of $80,000 (they were only leased to consumers).
MacKenzie paints the picture of a very unideal car, . He also pens the following remarkable quote; Hughes aircraft VP Howard Wilson, then working for GM after his company was acquired by them said,”What I’d really like to do (for the EV-1) is install a small gas turbine engine that could run at a constant speed to provide the electricity for the motors.” Sound familiar?
The article concludes:
“In the end, though, the price wasn’t an issue. The reality is the EV1 was hostage to a technology the engineers knew from the get-go just wasn’t able to do the job Roger Smith and the California Air Resources Board believed it could. That’s what killed the electric car.”
This entry was posted on Sunday, May 11th, 2008 at 8:38 pm and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.