GM EV1 electric car at Missouri S&T, Rolla, Missouri [photo: Jalopnik/Joel Johnson]
The late and much lamented GM EV1 electric car is by now a mythical creature.
It's been the subject of a much-discussed documentary, and is still cause for blind loathing of General Motors in some quarters.
Designed, engineered, and offered for lease in California and a few other locations from 1998 to 2003, the two-seat EV1 was likely the most sophisticated electric car ever built at the time.
It used a lead-acid battery pack that weighed almost four times as much as that of the lithium-ion pack in the modern-day Chevrolet Volt, with almost the same capacity, giving a range of 60 to 80 miles.
But the drivers who leased it--among them Danny DeVito and other celebrities--loved it.
When California changed the laws that required sales of zero-emission vehicles by the largest carmakers, GM walked away from the project, took back all the cars, and crushed them-- the dramatic ending of Who Killed the Electric Car?
Former CEO Rick Wagoner later said that axing the car had been the "worst decision" of his tenure at GM.
EV1 spotted on Google Earth
Of the 1,117 EV1s manufactured, only about 40 escaped the crusher. Some went to museums, others to universities, all of them reportedly disabled.
Now one has turned up, dusty, non-running, and stored in the open, at Missouri University of Science & Technology in Rolla.
The complete story can be found on Jalopnik, including a number of later additions to fill in the history of this particular vehicle and add more details to the story overall.
In this case, the story notes, the car no longer runs because a no-longer-available GM part broke after it was put back on the road by university students seeking to build an autonomous electric delivery vehicle.
As author Mike Spinelli concludes ...
Who really killed the electric car? College nerds trying to build the perfect pizza delivery vehicle.
Read the story; you'll enjoy it.
[Photos by Jalopnik/Joel Johnson, used with permission]