Electric Car Database
|Model Years||1996 - 1999|
|Range||70 - 100 Miles|
|Battery||16.5–18.7 kWh lead-acid, 26.4 kWh NiMH|
|Top Speed||80 mph|
The General Motors EV1 holds the distinction of being the only production car to be released under the GM name. It can also be considered the first purpose built electric car from a major automaker in the modern era. A lot can be said about this grandfather of EVs, including touching upon conspiracy theories about oil companies plotting the downfall of the EV1. But we will try to keep it brief. Like most pre-2000s electric cars, it was produced in small quantities and available for lease only. Over the 4 years of production (1996-1999) there were two generations of the car with 3 different batteries being used. Gen I had a 16.5 kWh battery that had a range of 60 miles. Gen II had an 18.7 kWh battery that had a range of 100 miles. Later on the car was fitted with a 26.4 kWh battery that gave the EV1 a range of 140 miles. Yes that right, this car from the late 90s has a better range than some of the electrics released in the past 5 years. But unfortunately the program was too expensive for GM and they found that there wasn’t enough money to be made in electric cars. (Who knows, maybe “Big Oil” was being persuasive). As such GM took back all 1,117 models of the EV1 and crushed all of them except for 40, which they had sent out to different museums and institutions. It goes without saying that Jay Leno got his hands on one. So if you are an EV enthusiast and you see one of these bad boys, you better pay your respects.