T.J.: Unfortunately, it's going to be mighty hard to find an EV1 for a head-to-head comparison. At least one national lab has one and there are a few others that were bought up for the purpose of preserving the remainders, but GM crushed most of them.
GM didn't crush the cars for the fun of it (or for the same reason the oil companies bought out the electric trolly's only to shut them down ;)-
I'd have to assume they crushed them because of some hidden flaw / liability. Perhaps they discovered the glue that held it together wouldn't over time or collision. Or perhaps the batteries could explode under the right circumstances or collision (the Pinto of electric cars?).
As for going green, I have a Ford Fusion gas-electric Hybrid that gives me the best of all worlds (good mileage for my work commute, mid-sized sedan for long haul trips, decent performance). Only the rich or those with low expectations can afford fully electric or electric-gas hybrids.
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?
> 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.
Aesthetics are definitely a matter of opinion, and I would disagree that the EV1 is a pig. It may not be the best looking car, but it has it's own charm, function over form is definitely welcome, and its unique. In my opinion, the Aztec or the Juke are by far the ugliest cars ever produced, yet people still buy/bought them.
Commuting by bicycle almost everyday, I know how much air resistance and rolling resistance make a difference. When you have to exert the energy to propel yourself, you start to notice things like that a lot more. Riding upright vs tucked in makes a huge difference (and that doesn't change the CdA by that much) or drafting behind a truck (I can easily ride 30mph). I wish car manufacturers were more bold to design cars more for function than for form.
GM tracked down and destroyed all but a few of the EV-1's and the few that remained were disabled so they couldn't run.
As to it's looks, they were a bit of a compromise between the designers and the suits. A perfact shape whould have been a teardrop. I had read that the suits decried the expense of making the underside aerodymic. "Why," they cried, "the owner won't see it." They designers returned with, "Yes, but the air will." A response that do doubt went over the suit's heads.
... and right there is your answer as to why cars today have such bad cd's. I am no aerospace engineer but what I do know hints at the fact that most cars would be more aerodynamic in reverse. What most people don't realise is that the sharp end of a 747 is at the back not the front, but we all want cars with sharp noses, and slinky lines, the safety guys all want us to be practically standing up when we drive so we don't end up a crumpled mess in the footwell and so the airbags can work, and the greenies want our cars to be electric (read: stuffed with batteries full of toxic, unstable stuff like Li.). All this adds to the cross-sectional area of the vehicle which means we have to move more air out of the way to move. I am all for electric vehicles but rather powered by super efficient turbine-electric generators that can burn any number of renewable gases super efficiently that can be dissipated quickly in the event of an accident. Not like the 600Vdc deathtraps currently residing in electric vehicles. Wait until these batteries become more ubiquitous. Then we will see how "Green" they are. What do you do if you see a burning car with a boot full of Li. I would run... far..
I agree about the turbine electric generator. There you've got a nice little machine, it burns practically anything, has immense power to weight, super efficient, perfect for powering an EV. Actually, I wonder why diesel electric trains or container ships don't run turbines? I guess I don't know everything about them.
Hey if you like the teardrop you should see the Aptera, supposedly has Cd=0.15, compared to 0.16 for Edison 2 or 0.19 for EV1 or 0.24 for Mercedes Benz. Aptera did not win the Automotive X-prize however, that went to Edison 2 at 102.5 mpg. I like the looks of the Aptera, if they ever get it into the showrooms I'll seriously consider it.
The answer is definetly not. If you believe that the EV1 was the best, you've never encountered a Honda "EV Plus". The Honda was a much better vehicle. My wife & I had an EV Plus for several days. It would have fit our needs very well as a second car. My wife's employer had a (free) charging station, that usually sat empty. The Honda held 4 adults comfortably & had a range of ~125 miles. As was the the EV-1, the EV Plus was leased only, & at a loss to the carmaker.
We did not consummate the EV Plus lease, only because our county had run out of state subsity allotments for electric vehicles. Our county, Ventura of Cal., had 5 allotments. We were no. 6 on the list & could not get the allotment.
If the EV1 was such a great design and beats most of the vehicles that are now being offered, why not just retrieve the old drawings, which are surely archived, maybe bring back a few of the original designers, some of whom are retired but would probably be willing to consult for a while, and put the car in production?
Or was this a bad idea in 1998, the same way that the electric vehicles of the 21st century are a bad idea? My hunch is that the same fate that faced the EV1 awaits the Chevy Volt and the Nissan Leaf.
I am currently assembling a modern version of the EV1 with my project 'Silver Streak'. Powered by a saved-from-the-crusher new EV1 motor/transaxle & Rinehart Motion Systems inverter, and with 71.5 kWh of Dow Kokam cells, this full electirc Honda Insight will do 400+ miles @ 55 mph, with 0-60 in the 6.9 - 7.1 second range. Please visit my blog for the full story about the EV1 & Silver Streak at www.plasmaboyracing.com/blog/
See Ya...John Wayland
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!
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.
Apparently, when Toyota saw GM investing so much into electric vehicles, it prompted them to start their own development, resulting in the Prius. After which, Toyota was viewed as a savior for the green movement, while GM stupidly canceled the EV1 and bought HUMMER. I shrug and wonder about all the stupid things GM has done...
Didn't a lot of the little cars in the mid 90s take on this look? Besides... Fords Explorer and other SUVs were a hot item then. EV1 sounds very expensive and questionable how well the body style would have been received. Maybe GM didn't want to do what Ford did and sink a ton of cash into an edsel that was totally the opposite from what people wanted.
I want to know if any of these electric vehicles will allow me to tow my boat through the Ozarks with my wife and three kids along. I cannot afford to have a separate vehicle to commute. These things are not just vehicles, they are a lifestyle choice for all but the very rich who can afford multiple toys and until they allow my scenario they will never be anything other than curiosties sold to a select niche market.
Surely you jest. As you tow your boat on family outings (meaning that you obviously are not using your boat to make a living), you complain that EVs are “lifestyle choices” and toys for the very rich? Your boat is a lifestyle choice that only the rich can choose.
What would happen if you traded in your toy boat for an EV to commute in? You'd save money and avoid polluting my air and water, is what.
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?
> Of course my boat is a lifestyle choice and that is my point. I chose the boat over an EV
You were accusing EVs of being toys for rich people... and you haul a boat around with a huge vehicle. My EVs are used for transportation, and they save me money as a great perk. I can only assume that your tow vehicle (and boat) cost more to operate than my EV becuase - why yes, I DO power my entire home and car with solar power. And since my PV system was paid off five years ago, I have paid nothing for my 10k+ miles per year. No energy and pollution waste from oil changes, tuneups or fuel. I have an entire website devoted to EVs and solar if you're interested.
My point: Boats and huge vehicles to tow them are toys. My solar-powered EV allows me to earn a living while not polluting my air or yours. You use "need" in a cavalier way. I contend that having reliable transportation is a need in our modern society. Towing and operating a boat for fun is not.
My "insulting" air pollution remark? You ask how I will dispose of my battery, and you don't wish to talk about how you are disposing of your gasoline - both in your tow vehicle and your boat? You are polluting my air and water. And if that sounds like an insult, I'm not sure how to respod. Every time you drive your truck or boat, you cause pollution. I'm at year nine with my batteries and zero operational pollution (recall the solar energy). There is a market for the used battery pack, and even when it is time to recycle, battery recycling in this country is one of the big success stories.
You worry about all the toxic chemicals in batteries and where they come from. We can't compare EVs to rainbows and the laughter of children. They must be compared to the gasoline vehicles being driven today. I have no illusion that building or disposing of an EV is totally green and clean. But compared to a gasoline vehilce - there's no contest.
I used to drive a truck, own a power boat and motorcycles. I now drive a solar-powered EV, and own a kayak and bicycles. The main catalyst that caused the big change for me? Having a child. How can I justify what we're doing to their future when we KNOW the damage we're doing? I'm not perfect. I'm definitely not sustainable. But I'm way closer than I was 10 years ago.
130,000 electric miles without an oil change, tuneup, or a drop of fossil fuel.
God bless you. You not only talk the talk, but walk the walk. I am sure you live a happy life with the choices you make, but it is not for me. You do it for your kids and that is honorable.
Some of my fondest memories of childhood come from time spent with my father in our boat. If you ask my kids I am sure they will also be able to point to early morning fishing trips on the lake in our boat as memorable and enjoyable experiences.
I guess I was thin skinned about the pollution comment so I plead guilty. I like to cook on charcoal, we do enjoy fires in our fireplace and my electric comes from a power plant. All of which is polluting somebody's air including my own. But I do not feel the least little bit guilty about it. I do not know what that says about me as a person, but I do know I have a beautiful wife of 44 years, have raised three great and productive kids and lead a happy life with my choices. None of which involve an electric car.
I think the questions you, I and everyone else have to ask are these:
1. Is everybody in the world entitled to a similar BASIC standard of living? I think yes.
2. With the US average as a lifestyle we all aspire too can the world afford to have everyone live like that? I think that as an estimated 3.5 earths in resources and space is needed (and we don't have that) the answer is NO.
We a few choices:
1. Have to have a world where a select few live like kings and the rest live in abject poverty like in 3rd world countries.
2. We need a bigger earth (at least 3.5 times larger plus maybe more for expansion - a losing concept as capitalism requires contant growth)
3. We need to reduce the world population to 2billion very quickly while we still can (do you want to be one of the ones to go voluntarily?)
4. We need to totally rethink how we live including giving up a lot of the things we take for granted like range rovers, multi car families and lots of other stuff.
There are other questions and choices, but these are just a few to give the discussion some perspective. The things that won't change are available space, available resources, and almost everyone's perceived expectation that they have a right to anything they want without repercussions.
I moved this thread off to the inactive side of things and had no intention of following it any longer, but I am compelled to respond to this. I do not know what irks me more: your arrogance at presuming to know what everyone in the world should have or your assumption that we agree that all things are to be equal. I spent time living abroad where people only wanted to know where their next meal was coming from and could not have cared less as to whether we drove EV's or Sherman Tanks, so long as it was not through their village.
I suggest that you apply your same logic to the time of the civil war and extrapolate thing forward from there. Before the internal combustion engine, the common mood of transportation was by horse. Fast forward to today and without technological advances, where in the world would we find land enough to grow the grass to feed all of those horses and how are we to dispose of the resulting manure?
You are right the available space will not change, but do not assume man has exhausted ways in which resources are to be utilized. Unless of course you still light your house with whale oil and commute by horse and buggy.
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.
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.
> What would be the range of an electric car carrying 4 people, 50 pounds of luggage, with headlights, air-con and ICE operating, in hilly terrain?
That would depend on WHICH EV you're in. My family of four with several hundred pounds of luggage, headlights and AC on regularly drives ~100 miles. And that car was designed for the 1996 model year - a Rav4EV. As for what the range of an EV would be with the ICE operating is beyond me. I've never owned an EV with an ICE.
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.
Ah! New one on me. In modern auto tech lingo, ICE is Internal Combustion Engine, AKA, the enemy. ;)
To put your mind at ease, please hear this - while HVAC usage can cause some reduction in range (just as it does in an ICE vehicle) none of the other entertainment items adds up to anything significant. Using wipers, playing the radio or DVD - are all insignificant compared to the traction power demands. HVAC is the only "accessorty" that reduces range. And even that is easily overcome by simply driving 2 mph (at most) slower at freeway speeds.
Chrysler was building two vehicles. The first a pure EV minivan built from production units. Lets just say it was inpressive however, never when beyond inital build and testing partically due to California droping the Clean Air based requirements. The second unit was an aluminum Neon with a 3 cylinder advanced desel engine. The test track runs showed a car that out performed a stock neon and exceeded 90+ MPH. What happend to those vehicles? they went to the same crusher the EV-1 ended up at. Now what the auto industry is back sayingthey can't build cars like they did back in the 90s.
BTW.......FORD also had a program focused on pure EV light duty trucks.
I worked at the GM Technical Center for a few years and I remember clearly an item that appeared in the company news one morning. It was in reference to a reported problem in some of the early EV1"s. The summary was that these were not fires really, just "thermal events." (We all had a good laugh over that one.) It was very clear to me from the beginning that those out on lease were really hand built prototypes offered for extended real world testing, never intended for actual production. Your description of how they were built makes that clear. They could never sell those for the cost of production. Rationalizing the production would require a massive investment which could be justified only by large volume demand. The resulting vehicle would have to be very different from the EV1 we knew.
As far as true utility goes, I don't have any doubt that the Tesla wins hands down over anything else that is actually available. The others, so far, are strictly pie in the sky. No available electric, nor any being proposed, would allow me to get into my car, east of Phoenix, in the morning and make the 700 mile trip to Palo Alto, CA in time for dinner with one fuel stop, as I do with my Volvo V70. And I step out of it ready to walk to a restaurant with no pain or stiffness whatsoever. It also transported a few hundred pounds of cargo when I moved here from Michigan.
The range of today's electrics, other than Tesla, would not get me to downtown Phoenix and back. That doesn't even consider driving at freeway speed with the A/C on in 115 degree summer weather. Consider how far you would be likely to go driving around Detroit in the winter with the heater and defrosters on.
We are not there yet, and certainly were not there with the EV1.
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...
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 !
Hey Bill... I had a 60ish MG Midget... Fun to drive, but kinda like riding a skateboard when next to a semi... No worse than a motorcycle though.
Loved my VW Bugs too. Very basic and easy as pie to work on. A couple of them had second lives as dune buggies.
I like the newer vehicles for comfort features though. EV1 legend talk always makes me think of the selective memories I have about the Bug... The heater was the pits, defroster too. Long trips felt... long... Gas mileage was good but not up to what I get now in my Accord w/air.
You're right... CFC was a waste to be sure. The 2 people that I know who used that program traded in $1000 plus value and bought Hyundai’s.
Electric cars replacing ICEs cars for the masses still are a ways off... and the EV1 probable looks better in the rearview mirror than it did in the driveway.
The EV1 was pretty good but had a few problems that the LEAF does not, below are a few.
The EV1 only sat 2 people with very liitle room for storage. The LEAF sits 5 and can hold a lot with fold down read seats.
The EV1 was leased only and then crushed. The LEAF can be bought, leased or even rented.
The EV1 had very high EMF given off. Read the Swedish TOC standards of 2 m-gaus or hight and the EV1 had 4 to over 20 I recorded. The LEAF is clean on EMF !
My LEAF can go 140 miles on a charge or if you drive like many peole only 60-100 miles. I only charge to 80% on an in car timer at 2 am so I help the GRID by using excess at off peak hours. An EV1 had not such options.
The EV1 used aluminum body and magnesium seat frames tryibng to reduce weight. That too expensive and didn't help much. The LEAF is made of recyclable matterials.
The EV1 had NiMH batteries which were good at the time but dies in the heat , I live in AZ and never had any problems with my LEAF batteries. They are good in cold and heat.
The EV1 was hand made 1 at a time. The LEAF is being made in a new factory in TENN. with a projected 150,000 a year possible along with 50,000 battery packs for sale to others.
Overall the LEAF is the car that is chaging the world. It's just in time and will get better. The EV1 was stopped as soon as GM could stop it and crushed. No mandates were needed with the LEAF. The LEAF was also just shown in smart money NOV 2011 as the best car for least cost to own and operate compared to many others over a 5 year total cost life. The batteries are warrentied for 10 yeats 150,000 or in non clean car states 8 years 100,000
Tesla Motors’ $35,000, 200-mile electric car may not revolutionize the auto industry by itself, but it could serve as a starting point for a long, steady climb to a day when half of the world’s vehicles will be plug-ins.
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