It seems you canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t go a week without hearing about the Chevy Volt. It also seems that GM wants us to forget that this is their second time around playing with batteries.
The EV1 was the first battery operated vehicle produced by GM. The car could do 0-60 in less then 8 seconds and spewed no harmful emissions.
GM said that it could run 130 miles before the next charge, but many contend that the distance was bogus. It seems that if you ran the AC or heater while driving, the distance covered was halved. If you decided to use your headlights another 10% deficit was achieved.
The EV1 electric car was available only via lease and service was only available at Saturn dealers. The rollout of the car in 1997 made it available only in California or Arizona. The lease payments ranged from $299 a month to over $575. Under any circumstance pretty steep for the end of the 20th century.
The minimum recharge time was two hours using special charging stations that except for fleet use didn’t exist. The effective recharge time, using the equipment that could be installed in a lessee’s garage, was eight hours. Home electrical systems simply couldn’t handle the necessary current draw for the cars “fast” charging option.
Battery replacement was a task performed by skilled technicians taking the type of precautions that electricians do when working on live circuits, because that’s what they were doing — working on live circuits. You cannot turn batteries “off.” This is the reason the vehicles were leased, rather than sold. As long as the terms of the lease prohibited maintenance by other than a Hughes/GM technician, liability in the event of an accident was greatly reduced. Technicians can encounter high voltages in current hybrid vehicles. In the EV1, there was Ã¢â‚¬Å“really highÃ¢â‚¬Â voltage present.
Some lessees were complaining that their electric bills had increased to the point that they’d rather be using gasoline. A sane gesture in 1997 when regular was about $1.25 per gallon.
In late 2002 GM said enough and cancelled the production of the EV1. There were consumer waiting lists to lease the car, but GM felt that the demand was not sufficient to make it profitable to produce. Battery powered technology was scraped.
Many conspiracy theorists blamed the demise on evil oil barons
GM back in 1997 seems to have been in the wrong place at the wrong time.