Recently, the folks over at Gas2.0 dug out some interesting old Department of Energy footage pertaining to a "New Beginning" for electric cars - circa 1976, focusing on the Chrysler ETV-1, that we figured we would pass along.

Chrysler ETV-1: "The first electric test vehicle developed for US Department of Energy's Near Term Electric Vehicle program.  It is the result of two years of hard work.  Two years of bringing together the best ideas of a dedicated team of scientists and engineers"

The challenge:  to build suitable car for "mass production in the mid-80s".

Some specs:

-0-30 mph: 9 seconds -ability to maintain 50 mph up a mile long, 5% grade -passing speed of 60 mph -target range (urban driving): 75 miles - with 4 passengers -18 lead acid batteries in a Chevy Volt-like configuration -cost: $5,000 in 1976 dollars  (based on production of 100,000+ cars), which translates to $22,000 USD today

You Don't Want To Know What Happens If You Press The Big Red Button

You Don't Want To Know What Happens If You Press The Big Red Button

As we know today, this program was wildly successful and lead to the complete domination of plug-in cars that we all enjoy driving today over the traditional internal combustion products of the 70s.

Or rather, the lone prototype - a 1979 model, ended up recently being sold off on ebay (as outlined in this Autoblog story) for $3,500 and the world had to wait another 30-odd years for EVs to become a reality.

Video Below:  Design of the ETV-1

Gas2.0