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

GM's EV1 still has the best drag coefficient of any production car to date, at 0.195.  (Photo courtesy of GM.)
GM's EV1 still has the best drag coefficient of any production car to date, at 0.195.
(Photo courtesy of GM.)

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Range rover
Battar   10/18/2011 10:42:01 AM
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?

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EV1 in the land of SUVs
John   10/18/2011 10:29:33 AM
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. 

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EV1 and the Prius
SixtyMinusTwo   10/18/2011 10:27:09 AM
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...

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Re: fugly
3drob   10/18/2011 10:06:02 AM
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.

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VadimR   10/18/2011 9:40:03 AM
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.


John Wayland
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Re: EV1
John Wayland   10/18/2011 9:38:44 AM
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

Dan in Illinois
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Dan in Illinois   10/18/2011 9:23:26 AM
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.

Charles Murray
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Re: fugly
Charles Murray   10/17/2011 6:00:49 PM
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.

TJ McDermott
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Re: fugly
TJ McDermott   10/17/2011 5:52:27 PM
I'm with you.  Even the "cars of the future" in black and white news reels and world's fairs looked better than this pig.

It's only 12-15 years old.  Are there NONE left where a head-to-head test can be performed?

Steve Saunders
User Rank
Steve Saunders   10/17/2011 10:41:06 AM
it may be a great electric vehicle but why oh why does it have to be such a pig to look at?

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