Captain Hybrid

Is GM's EV1 Still the Best Electric Car Ever?

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Re: Range rover
Tool_maker   10/19/2011 6:26:24 AM
Why the vitriol Paul? Point by point: 1. I drive a 99 GMC with 180,000 miles and aiming for replacement at 300K. 2. My boat is also a 99 purchased used five years ago. 3. Two of my kids are already through private colleges with a combination of academic scholarships and working part time jobs we, my wife, myself and the student, were able to accomplish this on our own thank you. My son decided school was not for him and is gainfully employed as an apprentice in the HVAC field. Oh yeah, one of them has a Masters degree. 4. Do a little research and you will find the majority of petroleum, both domestic and imported, ends up in products other than gasoline. For example, the plastic keyboard you were angrily pounding on. 5. You keep your money local and drive a LEAF; 'nuff said. 6. If tens of millions of Americans shared your values, our power grid would be incapable of handling the load if everybody plugged in at once. Maybe some day, but not now. 6. How many rare earth minerals are required to produce your EV. Where do they come from? Oh yeah, our best buddy China. No need to ever worry about war there? 7. Yes I am rich. I am rich because I use English, which is the richest language in the world and when used properly, it allows one to make a point without insult, innuendo or wierd generalizations. You may want to try it Paul. 8. Re-read the article. It is about a two seater EV and like it or not, that is a toy for rich people, not a viable everyday choice for the masses.

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Re: The Good Ole Days
Bringier   10/18/2011 9:44:18 PM
There is room for all. I am 71. I loved my 1955 Triumph TR2 (30 mpg, 85+) & my 1964 Corvair (great car killed by that idiot Ralph Nater). I drive an OLD car, but only 600 miles a year. The 'Cash for Clunkers' destroyed thousands of useful cars (& their spare parts). It is not surprising given that 2 of the 3 USA major auto companies had to become majority-owned by the government.

We cannot afford to build an affordable car due to intense government 'safety' and 'mileage' requirements.

I would like to find an affordable car, like a 1960's VW Beatle !

Bill  -- WBringier@Gmail.com 

User Rank
Re: EV1
Tim   10/18/2011 9:13:20 PM
I agree that if the vehicle was so great GM could just dig up the drawings dust off the assembly line and go into production.  This would have given them a head start.  Instead it looks like they forgot everything they knew and started over with the Volt. 

Or they remembered problems that were never disclosed from the EV1 experience that required them to complete a totally new design which resulted with the Volt. 

Hopefully,with the Volt they have a new, safe, and green vehicle. 

Ralphy Boy
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The Good Ole Days
Ralphy Boy   10/18/2011 8:30:44 PM
Of course the legend can not be proven, or disproven... But the aero body can be easily copied, the awesome tires can be subbed out w/even better new ones, same for the batteries. The motors and controllers for them are available in lighter and more efficient packages...

It should be a piece of cake to out do the EV1…


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Re: EV1
MIROX   10/18/2011 5:51:21 PM
Apparently there is NO EV1 that is complete or functions.

All the ones in various collections and museums, have been gutted out by GM in Burbank, CA so it is only a body with no running gear.

And they did such a good job that even GM more than once admitted that there is no EV1 that runs anywhere in the World. (And I tend to believe them)

As for the "plans" their fate mirrors the "Saturn Rocket" where NASA claims and admits that the data storage technology on which all those designs were stored no longer exists (to read the data) as specific drives and tape readers just are not around any more.

SO the "plans" have been inadvertently disposed of (destroyed).

So oh well it is to square one in the design department!

The wheel just has to be re-invented !!!


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Re: Range rover
Tool_maker   10/18/2011 3:15:13 PM
Of course my boat is a lifestyle choice and that is my point. I chose the boat over an EV and I enjoy it as often as I can. Given that there are considerably more boats out there than EV's I am guessing that many other people will make the same decision and until electric vehicles can fulfill those needs they are doomed to side show existance. There is no more need for your insulting air pollution remark than for you to explain how you are ever going to dispose of that huge battery and do you only charge it by solar power or is there a power plant somewhere burning fossil fuels?

Jerry dycus
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Re: Range rover
Jerry dycus   10/18/2011 2:35:04 PM

          While the EV-1 was a great EV in many ways, it wasn't what we needed.  What the EV-1 was is an overengineered, overweight, overcost unit designed to fail economically as GM didn't want it to succeed.

         The real best EV's were 2 GM did not put into production, the Impact EV built I think by Aeroviroment GM ordered as the prototype for the EV-1 and the GM Ultralite all composite body/chassis. Either of these would eat the EV 1's clock  with the same battery pack and the UltraLite was a 4 seater and the EV rear drive could be switched out with an ICE one for long trips.  But again GM didn't want EV's or composite body/chassis to work as composites don't rust.

        The Ev-1's best as the article mentions was it's aero. Though barely better than the above.  But it was designed, built by Hughes, a satelite company and a hand built production line by car company commities ended up with such things as $5k chargers, $50k inverters, extra weight, here, there. etc.  Ending up at 3000lbs in what started out as a 2000lb Impact that carried 50% battery weight vs 35% for the EV-1 built to military aircraft standards ment it couldn't ever be an affordable EV.

       As soon as Detroit, etc get over there fear of composites which can cut vehicle weight, thus battery pack, EV drive, suspension, etc needed lowers fuel needs.  Add to that real aero.  It's not really that hard. Nasa made a box truck with just some sheet metal changes get a .25CD!!!   Google NASA aerodynamic truck.

       Next let's get to the batteries.  GM couldn't make a decent battery it seems. Neither their lead or NiMH batteries were very good. Yet  others did fine with lead like Toyota NiMH RAV-4EV many of which are still running fine on their first battery set after 100,000+ miles in 10-15 yrs they have been around. They now sell for 150% of new price if you can get an owner to sell.

    Nissan did their 90's EV with Lithium back then and had little problems.  GM needs to buy batteries from those who know how and if one doesn't work. just switch suppliers.

    The smart EV money should be on lightweight commuter EV's that save so much in gas one can pay for it just in gas savings!!  Say a 1k lb 3wh composite crash resistant cabin MC seating 2 with lead batteries could do 75mph and 60 mile range and sell for under $8k  in mass production. A 4kw, 40lb  generator can give it unlimited range when needed.

    While one can bitc- about the Tesla's 5000+cells they seem to work well and Panasonic just started producing 25vdc, 100amphr or so blocks of them for future Tesla, Toyota's RAV4EV.

     As for range most any EV can put on a trailer hitch and mount a generator, rental or owned for unlimited range when needed.  An EV such as the Nissan Leaf would only need 8kkw or so.




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Re: fugly
darelldd   10/18/2011 2:29:23 PM


darelldd, you didn't mention the make/model of your EV (I'm curious because when I looked for one back then I found none, I had a 5 mile commute at the time so it could've worked for me as a commute ONLY car).  I am happy you've found one that fits your requirements, but I doubt they are the same as the average person's.


It is a Toyota Rav4EV. Build for the 1996 model year - corporate lease only from 1997-2001, then retail in 2002. Same car over that span. I purchased mine in 2002 and have driven it every day since (I also had an EV1 previous to the Rav4EV, and bought the Rav when I knew the EV1 was being taken away and crushed). You mention the "average person" - and one thing I've found is that most of us assume that everybody has our same needs. It turns out that the "average home" has more than one car. And one of those cars rarely drives more than 40 miles per day.


And... it uses NiMH batteries. They've been in the car for 90,000 miles and nine years. Same batteries, no replacements.

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Re: fugly
3drob   10/18/2011 2:11:41 PM
darelldd, you didn't mention the make/model of your EV (I'm curious because when I looked for one back then I found none, I had a 5 mile commute at the time so it could've worked for me as a commute ONLY car).  I am happy you've found one that fits your requirements, but I doubt they are the same as the average person's. 

For me, my 600+ mile range lets me travel extensively w/o worring about the tow home.  Five can fit comfortably with a trunk full of luggage.  I can take long trips (across the continent, perhaps), which are not possible in an EV (I can fill up in 5 minutes, any state of the union, even in our outpost states of Canadia and Mexico).  Also, if I need service, I can get it; anywhere.  I can commute my 60 miles per day and fill up once every other week (not the 1.5 times per week of my Mustang, nor the 2 times per day of an EV).

Just curious about your real world experience:  what's your battery chemestry, how many times have you replaced them, and how does the range fare after 130k miles?

Paul Scott
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Re: Range rover
Paul Scott   10/18/2011 1:56:50 PM
You claim that EVs are a rich person's "lifestyle choice", yet you drive a Range Rover and own a boat AND you have three kids. Poor people do not buy expensive toys like a Range Rover and boats, so you must be rich, too. The cost to drive your expensive SUV is quite high, as I imagine you already know. Are you putting money aside to put those three kids through college? 

EVs are not more expensive than gas cars. They are worth every cent to those of us who value the good that EVs bring to society. We value not polluting your kid's air. We value using domestic energy so that your kids don't have to fight a war in the middle east and kill civilians collaterally so that we can have cheap oil. We value keeping our money local instead of sending most of it out of the country. These are very valuable characteristics of an electrically powered car.

I would not trade my LEAF even for a Mercedes S class even though the Mercedes "costs" much more because the Mercedes pollutes our environment, uses foreign energy and requires that we fight wars for oil.

But that's just me, and tens of millions of other Americans who share my values.

Of course, you are welcome to wait till someone builds a massive electric SUV that can tow your boat. In the meantime, please make sure you pay the full cost of your kid's education so when they join the military they have a chance to be officers and not the grunts who have to do the killing and get killed. 

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