Tesla CEO Elon Musk: General Motors “Should Have Gone to EV2 and EV3”

MAR 27 2014 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 88

EV1 Alongside Chevy Volt

EV1 Alongside Chevy Volt

In a candid interview with Autocar, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk was asked:

EV1

EV1

“Did GM miss a trick by killing its speculative all-electric EV1 in the late 1990s?”

His response:

“They should have gone to EV2 and EV3, iterating it and making it better.  The EV1 was not a great car. It had a lot of issues. But it was good enough to encourage people to take extraordinary steps to try to keep it and to hold candle-lit vigils when it was crushed. They don’t do that for other GM products.”

The passion displayed by EV1 leasees should have been enough to convince General Motors to carry on with the program.  If GM had done what Musk says (EV2 and EV3), then it seems likely that Tesla Motors probably would not exist today.

GM created a cult of followers with the EV1.  Those followers surely would have stayed with GM for EV2 and EV3.  The word would’ve spread and GM would have become the dominant player in the EV space well before Tesla came on the scene.  If there were a dominant EV maker already in place, then there’s likely no way Musk would venture into that dominated space.

Fortunately, at least for Tesla, GM abandoned the EV1 program entirely, leaving all the room in the world for Tesla to carve its own niche.

Now Meets Old: Tesla Model S Lined Up Next to GM EV1

Now Meets Old: Tesla Model S Lined Up Next to GM EV1

Source: Autocar

Categories: Tesla

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88 Comments on "Tesla CEO Elon Musk: General Motors “Should Have Gone to EV2 and EV3”"

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The Model-S is a billion times better vehicle than the EV-1. So is the Volt and the Leaf. The EV-1 was more of a science experiment. And I’ll probably get flamed for this, but I think the EV-1 was ugly both inside and out. Plus it was a two seater with almost no cargo area. No fast recharge options either.

Still, its better than a yugo or any 2 seat bmw

No flames from me. I agree. The EV1 was a science experiment. This is witnessed by its minor revisions through its short lifespan. Larger battery pack, then a nickel metal hydride battery pack… they were actively working on improving this car. That’s what science does.

I would say EV1 with NiMH can be compared with the i-MiEV. The i-MiEV has four seats and CHAdeMO, but the EV1 still wins imho because it was 10 freaking years earlier 🙂

I would prefer a two seater like EV1 with actual tec over the Smart, because of a sportier look and more efficiency (aerodynamics – yeah!).

I don’t think Musk’s point is in opposition to yours. Most of us would agree that the EV1 was ugly and impractical in so many ways, but Musk’s point was that it had enough loyalists that GM could have iterated on it and built better and better EVs. Instead, they not only abandoned it they did it in a way that set back EVs by a decade.

No new technology works well in its first product iterations. It takes multiple cycles to get there. The Volt, after all, is a distant cousin of the EV1. Imagine that the Volt could have come 10 years before it actually did and where the industry could be now.

Did any of you ever drive the EV1? It was an amazing car. I leased the first one off the line in Dec 1996 and had 3 iterations (the first one got 70 mpc, then I drove the one with Panasonic batteries, then the NiMH version that went at least 120 miles per charge) over a 6 year period. I had no troubles with any of the cars. It was fast, smooth and had a very tight turn radius. It was also released 18 years ago, so to compare it with the S is not that fair. But in itself it was a beautiful, glorious vehicle. And way ahead of any other battery vehicle on the road for the next dozen years. It caution folks not to criticize, but to celebrate this car that really set the standard for EVs and paved the way for Musk to work his magic. I am not sure Elon ever drove one?

Wish I had noticed your post sooner. Big fan of your work! Especially liked “Christine” … when on TV, it’s one of those movies I just *have* to watch.

But I still can’t believe Arnie chose that Plymouth over you. What an idiot! Sure … if it was a Tesla or EV1 then maybe … but a Plymouth?!? Never! 😉

True the the EV-1 was more of a science experiment and not as good an automobile as today’s Volt or Leaf.

But don’t forget that the EV-1 was way better than the other EVs of its era, like the previous generation Th!nk City from Ford, Nissan’s mini-car EV, and Honda’s EV Plus. Only the RAV4-EV was at or near the same level as the EV-1.

GSP

The EV1 was a billion times more efficient than any Tesla. No other car maker at the time could come close to what GM did with the battery tech of the time. I drove the EV1 and I own a Chevy Volt now for a year and a half… the Volt is EV2 .. improved in many ways and still the best engineered car on the road. I’ve been commuting in PA everyday and have only been to a gas station once. 11,000 hard city miles… even when it was -16F here in the winter I was still getting over 30 miles all electric…no range anxiety… and I paid $22,900. Been back to the dealer twice for tire rotation… that’s it. Total cost for fuel (gass and elec)and maintenance for one year..total less than $275. Nobody comes close.

I still don’t know the reason they crushed them and I have watched all the shows and interviews about it.

The reason in one word: money.

I meant a little more detail than that.

Could you provide more detail about what you find confusing about the EV-1 story?

I just don’t know the reason that they took them back and crushed them. I is not clear to me. Maybe I saw the wrong program/s.

Wasn’t it because of the Ovonica batteries and patents? Something about GM selling them to Chevron, and requiring enormous quantities of battery orders and licensing fees? In other words, big oil was scared. They should still be scared.

I’m going to go with the fact they were a liability. Unless they maintained equipment to service these few (expensive) then nobody else could service them, so if someone was hurt due to non-servicing, as a result of that servicing not being available, GM would be sued.

It sort of sounds crazy until you remember the whole hot coffee lawsuits that people actually somehow win. Then it’s not such a stretch at all.

Why not simply sell them with salvage titles?

I understand what you’re trying to say about frivolous lawsuits, but the McDonalds coffee case is a bad example.

http://www.lectlaw.com/files/cur78.htm

Salvage titles could be an option. I truthfully don’t know but when something “doesn’t make sense” I just try to think of aspects I may have not considered. They could have merit or be way off.

GM may have been worried about giving a competitive edge to other manufacturers should the technology eventually gain ground. I know, for the Volt, they were emphatic about all the lessons learned and technology developed on the EV-1 that went into it.

It’s still a shame they were all crushed, but it was likely not for the sensational claims that are often made.

I realise a cyber shill’s task is to defend his employer -GM in your case- and GM is pretty desperate to rewrite history when it comes to the EV-1 PR debacle but let me point out that Toyota choose not to destroy its RAV4 EVs so clearly there wasn’t really a necessity for such action.

True that GM, Honda, Toyota, and others did not have to crush their EVs, and Ford did not have to export all the Th!nk City cars to Norway.

But don’t forget that Toyota did crush as many RAV4-EVs as they could, even after bowing to public pressure to stop. And, Ford only relented to export the Th!nk City cars to Norway instead of crushing after extreme pressure from the Norwegian people and their government.

GSP

Chris, are you heavily medicated? Do you believe in all the popular conspiracy theories out there too?

As I’ve stated before, I’m not employed by GM, and have been posting opinions as well as writing some articles on this website for years.

Just because you have some eccentric unjustified bias against a company, does not mean you must fabricate that I am biased for a company.

The same reason why Honda will be crushing all of the Fit EVs that come back after the lease period: to eliminate future service/parts costs that can extend for decades (and are very expensive for a tiny production run).

hopefully they sell the battery packs to someone who can use them for storage….

I think it was:

1. CARB canceled the Zero-Emission-law in a trade with the big car companys. They on their part pledged to install cleaner engines (like the ones already in use in Europe).

2. GM didn’t want to take care of the maintenance/parts. Of course they could have lowered the number of cars leased over the years and salvaged parts from the retired ones. But that would have been a logistical mess and they had to decide which lessees could keep their cars and which doesn’t.

3. GM had money issues and needed quick, lucrative cars for sale and no program which would be profitable in 5-10 years.

In 2015, the global oil & gas market is forecast to have a value of $3,699.4 billion
If you think that a self sustaining base on the Moon, complete with food, metals and chemicals production, would cost about 15 billion $, that gives an idea of what 3700 billions $ can do. Crushing an emerging electric vehicle treat was unfortunately just a detail.

(Self-sustaining base is according to my own calculation for the equivalent of 500 tons on the Moon at wholesale price with no science what’s however, just survival. Cost is therefore mainly transport with Falcon 9 at 60 million per 1 ton delivered on the Moon, that is 30000 millions, cut in two thanks wholesale price for 500 flights, so that is 15000 millions $ or 15 billions $.)

There’s no oil on the moon, sorry.

Hydrogen 3, the new Moon Oil. 😉

You mean helium-3, but that’s not a good reason to go to the moon.

Is there a good reason to go to the moon?

Not since we’ve already done it, no…Mars? Hell, yeah!

actually yes… the moon and asteroids. We can essentially export mineral mining activities off-world thus 1) increasing our supplies of rare earth elements and other raw materials that are in high demand by our technology 2) minimizing the environmental effect that such operations have here on earth. I’m all for the commercialization of space and ironically it would require the continued development and optimization of solar technology and battery tech, which could then be used back on earth.

Opps, thanks! I still have Hydrogen on the brain from an earlier thread. 😉

It was a comparison of what 15 billion can buy and therefore wat 3700 billion could buy. No one looks for oil on the Moon. The interest though would be to have a second planet where we would be established in case something catastrophic hapens on earth like an asteroid impact. I always find it natural to pay for fire insurance on a home, so why not a self-sustaining base as a humanity life insurance. By the way it also brings some fun and interest just like a base in antartica does.

I suspect it had something to do with the law that says an automaker must make parts available for at least 10 years. They wanted to close down this program for good and they did not want to have to support these cars.

The sad part is, they could have handled it so much more tactfully. They could have explained this to people instead of just ignoring them. And then they could have given ALL of the cars away to museums instead of crushing them.

Uh, that would make too much sense!

Imagine, explaining to the people??? Never been done!

Hopefully New GM learned A WHOLE LOT from old GM and the Rick Waggoner Regime!!!

I’ll take a shot at why; all money related; Profits and the need to satisfy Wall Street and the Oil Companies so that GM management can keep their jobs and huge salaries.
EVs are disruptive of the Status Quo and the entities in power have more to gain by not changing policies and processes.

I helped organize the protest in Burbank that was in “Who Killed the Electric Car?”. We heard the liability argument, but I think the real reason was they wanted to get rid of all of the cars so no one could be driving them around proving the technology worked.

All of the OEMs affected by the ZEV mandate – GM, Ford, Chrysler, Honda, Toyota and Nissan – tried to destroy all of their EVs. We managed to save about 1,000 out of the approximately 5,000 EVs manufactured during this period. Almost all of those EVs are still running today, a full 12 years later. We used our RAVs and Ford Rangers as examples of the technology that Americans “could” have had if only they would manufacture them again. Tesla’s birth during this period kick started the industry again.

While we lost many battles in this fight, we won the war. Now, it’s just a matter of how fast our society makes the transition.

Thank you Paul for being there fighting the battle. It was well-worth it!

+1

+2!

GSP

With the current state of the World we will be lucky if we are not riding horses in the next twenty years. Its the new dark ages, brought to you by folks like the Koch bros. Made possible by a few billion complete morons incapable of critical thought.

More likely the planet will be destroyed by World War Three that seems staged to begin in Ukraine soon. If so, our military (fueled by companies like Koch Industries) may be what keeps us all alive. Guess we’ll see.

Why were they crushed?

In four years they only built 1117 units. None were sold. They leased the cars, so GM never lost title. The leases were based on a sales price of about $34,000. But the actual cost to GM to build them was between $80,000 and $100,000 each. It was an end user based alpha test program.

Quite simply it was a car way ahead of the battery technology at that time. GM knew it could not reduce their costs enough to make the car profitable.

Had GM sold all those cars, they would have to provide parts and service for years all over the country for just 1,117 units. From an accounting and liability standpoint it made no financial sense to the company.

As as it was already said, they did not want the cars to end up at the R&D departments of other manufacturers.

It really was that simple of a decision.

A horrible decision from a PR standpoint, but lawyers and accountants are not the best PR people!!

JMHO

FYI- All the EV1 were destined for the crusher before they were even built. That is why they were not offered for sale (lease only) This is very common in the automotive industry actually, the EV1 was set up as a short-term engineering and marketing exercise.

Dont mean to be a hater, love for insideevs and Eric but this is seriously old news 🙂

I think it has been a slow news week. 🙁

Yet David – look at the comments today with people pontificating about why they feel GM axed EV-1. The comments alone display that EV fans don’t know their history.

InsideEVs is doing a FANTASTIC JOB in interjecting a bit of history in order for newer fans of electric transportation can learn how we got where we are today.

See my comments below for the REAL REASON GM dumped EV-1 ( and is now backing away from Volt ).

@David, or a “Bash GM” week. 😉

Hindsight is always 20/20. If electric cars had the advnatages they have today (read: lower costs) then Tesla Motors would have began way back when the EV-1 was in existence.

But they didn’t, and for good reason. EV’s at that time cost around the same amounts that fuel cell vehicles cost today.

Chrysler also crushed the “Turbine car” in the sixties. The EV1 got close too 100 miles per charge and recharging station were set up all over socal.

The Turbine cars were crushed because the bodies were built in and imported from Italy under a temporary import arrangement. Keeping them would require Chrysler to pay duty on them, which of course it declined to do.

So they were destroyed per the rules.

Some of the questions covered by the EV1 Marketing manager John Dabels exclusively for InsideEVs
http://insideevs.com/insideevs-exclusive-interview-with-general-motors-ev1-marketing-director-john-dabels-part-1/

Electric-Car-Insider.com

The real issue wasn’t avoiding the expense of having to provide maintenance for 1,000 very low-maintenance cars for ten years.

There’s a terrible term in industry called “knife the baby”. It means what it sounds like it means. Eliminate a potential future competitive threat.

Divisions and business units within large organizations compete for resources. Powerful incumbents usually win.

That’s why companies usually get disrupted from external competitors instead of innovating internally and staying on top, despite all their resource and network advantages.

Clearly, the internal competition still exists at GM. I see there has been a lot of turnover since the development and deployment of the Volt. Clearly, they rarely advertise the Volt and when they do it’s something awful that looks like it’s meant to confuse people. As a result most people either don’t know about it at all or don’t know how it works. The next generation Volt will likely be less capable than the first generation in order to compromise it and eventually kill it. Look at what happened at Honda with the Insight. It started off as 70+MPG car, then 40 MGP car with many compromises, then killed. Watch GM do the same.

“If GM had done what Musk says (EV2 and EV3), then it seems likely that Tesla Motors probably would not exist today.”

If GM had not done the EV1, Tesla probably would not exist today.

To belabor the point, what is happening today is not an accident. Look at the foundations of energy production and use today. Solar power; LED lighting; Electric cars. This is the electronics industry, and by extension, Silicon Valley, taking over major swaths of the old industrial age. All of these are considered impractical dreams by many. All considered overpriced. All considered to be problems too hard to solve.

The difference is that all of the entrepreneurial energy, new thinking, and the new ways of managing that characterize the Silicon valley are going into these efforts.

What is the track record for success? Ask the phone company (or whats left of it). They were once asked by the government to design the internet. They considered it a waste of time. The internet vaporized their business model. Its in the process of doing the same to the TV and radio businesses.

Shocking* to me that nobody here seems to have picked up and watched “Who Killed The Electric Car?” Here’s the whole documentary for those who haven’t seen it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsJAlrYjGz8 Martin Sheen, Tom Hanks, Mel Gibson amongst the participants, Chris Paine’s epic film was the bane of GM and nearly singularly responsible for GM’s about-face on electric cars after they crushed EV-1. I can’t believe in reading the first twenty posts or so that SO MANY HERE don’t know this history of the EV-1. Yet, sorry, I’m old – and I just take for granted everyone who loves EVs has watched it. In the film, guys like Big Solar and ClarksonCote would learn that GM has an intimate relationship with Big Oil. They also would learn that the major automakers spent millions on lawyers and bribes shooting down California’s C.A.R.B. legislation. Why? Because the traditional sales model is to sell the car at very low profit margin and take your money for the next four to ten years in servicing and replacement parts. GM woke up and smelled the java with their EV-1 “science experiment” when they realized that with EVs you cannot sustain that model. It has not changed with… Read more »

*Sorry for the pun – I just couldn’t resist.

SHOCKING! I did think more people understood why GM axed EV-1. Nobody made the film about how GM used Volt in desperation to stay alive – and sat before Congressional Committees with a straight face and explained to them ( us ) how it intended to build Volt all along as the saviour or American energy independence and pollution….etc. ( barf! )…. That is on YouTube also, if you look.

GM generally makes me ill.

OBVIOUS DEPT.: Sorry I did not mention that NO GOVERNMENT is going to raise the price of petrol because any politician that suggests doing so has committed political suicide.

So thus – today’s environment where it’s all about CO2 and global warming ( barf! – again ) and governments pushing green to force companies to build clean, efficient cars.

OBVIOUS DEPT. Part II:

Wóuldn’t it be loverly if a BIPARTISAN meeting of minds would take place and those ELECTED OFFICIALS we hired would do roundtable town hall meetings explaining why America needs to raise gasoline prices? Things like honestly discussing our vulnerablities ( see today-Europe! ) to being beholden to oil productiong nations that hate us – and the hundreds of billions we spend for military to protect our avenues to foreign crude…A bit of honesty would go a long way, but with politicians, that is a rare commodity. How about telling Americans how many estimated soldier’s lives have been lost defending our access to oil?

With Canadians and fracking in today’s world – convincing Americans to buy an EV or PHEV is getting harder every day.

Tesla has more weight on it’s shoulders than anyone can imagine.

How could they anyway, oil companies are privately owned, not owned by the govt….

You may have it backwards, the oil companies own the gov’t.

+1 And BINGO
Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Banks all own each other and their profits must continue at all costs. Our US Government is merely a cast of characters (read puppets) who dance to the tune they decide and if not, they meet their fate at places like Dealey Plaza.

If you understand this, then you know why everything in this world is as it seems and as it plays out in front of us. Oh, Big Oil, Big Pharma and Big Banks also own Big Media (which is only about 7 outlets today instead of 100 as it was as recently as 1980)

It is a great film but it is over-optimistic. The EV-1 was just not commercially viable at the time. The batteries were too heavy and too expensive. And gasoline was dirt cheap at the time.

But that said, GM was stupid to completely kill off the program. It took Toyota a decade to build up the Prius, if GM had kept working on EVs they would have owned that sector.

True.

The Toyota Prius was not economically viable when it first came out. Now, it’s Toyotas best selling car. And they’re making money off each sale…

I’ve seen Who Killed the EV1. Frankly, it seemed more like a conspiracy theorist screed than anything else. Lots of interviews with people who thought it was perfect but with little on it’s flaws. I recall the range issue being presented as a specious argument from GM. That’s where I realized how overly biased the film’s producer was. Range is a very real issue and still is to this day. One could argue that it is the primary issue in gain EV acceptance.

The whole “Big Oil” and “Big Auto” fearing competition and crushing (literally) the little guy is simply too sensationalistic to believe. Occam’s razor says look for the simpler truths: That that GM was populated with short term minded managers that were looking at the next model year not 10 years down the road, saw the electric car as a nuisance and a waste of R&D resources. That rings far truer than a cabal of industry leaders looking 15-20 years into the future and “knifing the baby”.

Sorry, it was Who Killed the Electric Car.

+1

+1

I agree that “Who killed the electric car” drifts into conspiracy theories that I don’t abide to either, but the picture you paint here is just as overly simplistic.
Yes GM was short on cash at the time, and is almost surely the reason non-essential, mid/long-term R&D like the EV1 program was dropped.
Range wasn’t the issue though. The NiMH version of the EV1 was reportedly capable of going 150 miles (see link below), and Nissan proved that a market for vehicles with a shorter range does exist.

GM however went further than simply mothballing its EV program: it sold key technology, the Ovonics large-cell NiMH, to an oil company, Chevron.
This indeed effectively froze EV development for close to a decade, the time it took for alternatives to appear and become viable (NiMH not infringing on Ovonics patents, then Li-ion).

Some reads I found interesting:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent_encumbrance_of_large_automotive_NiMH_batteries

Insider view on the EV1’s fate: while unverified (and unverifiable), I think it provides a good counterpoint to “Who killed the electric car”:
http://insideevs.com/insideevs-exclusive-interview-with-general-motors-ev1-marketing-director-john-dabels-part-1/

EV1 was 2 seater.

LEAF is a 5 seater.

How many people complain about Volt’s 4 seat?

HOw many people buy Honda’s CR-Z 2 seater?

I think it shows… EV1 was NOT good enough.

And Tesla Motors’ first car was a 2-seater too. So?
How does any of this relate to this discussion, or the links I provided?

And how many did Tesla sell? less than 3,000 units.

And Telsa almost went bankrupt b/c of it…

In addition, LI-ion battery was available long before EV1 was born…

Going to Li-ion instead of NiMH is a no brainer in terms of range and density.

Yeah, I’ve said this many times. The EV-1 was just a niche test vehicle and it was released at the WORST POSSIBLE time .. . the nadir of oil prices. However, if GM had quietly kept the program running in the background and constantly improving the product, they would own the EV segment today.

But they went for the short-term profits instead of a long-term plan. And thus went bankrupt.

The RAV4-EV was a much better product. Toyota would have slaughtered GM if both had continued with their respective product lines.

Even though this is an old topic, and the EV1 was less than perfect– it did eventually inspire and herald the current age of EVs we currently find ourselves witnessing. It’s ALSO good remembering GM has a history of talking out both sides of its mouth, when it comes to providing electric drivetrains for their customers.

History at GM seems to be, unfortunately, repeating itself. It has to be unimaginably frustrating to be an EV engineer at that company, and watch what their execs do, to sabotage their efforts. The Spark is an unexpectedly solid BEV (even though the body is econo-fugly), but now the corporate folk won’t push it mainstream, for the rest of the country to easily purchase, despite earlier comments to the contrary.

Sad. The “Mark of Cain” continues…

I’m glad Tesla does not have the corporate baggage or fossil fuel ties that stifled further innovation based off that little electric “science project”. And I’m elated Elon’s making his version of the EV2 and 3, NOW.

Because GM wont.

And years later it would call the Prius a “geekmobile” and jump at the chance to stifle Tesla: http://teslamondo.com/2014/03/22/gm-the-first-automaker-to-squirm/

The Model S is arguably more like an EV7 or EV8 in the evolutionary scale.

“GM created a cult of followers with the EV1. Those followers surely would have stayed with GM for EV2 and EV3. ”

BS.

EV buyers GOT no loyalties. They will buy the next best thing at the best price…

If a $35K 200 miles Model E is on sale today, just about all LEAF owners and a large % of Volt owners will easily jump on it and get that car instead.

The EV early adopters are different. Their loyalty is only reside to a particular car.

Even if EV2 and EV3 is here, if it is NOT as good as LEAF or Volt, people will show NO loyalty.

The Loyalty was there b/c they had no better choice! (Sure some e-Ranger and eRav4 was there but neither was was close being as good).

Holding mock funerals and candlelight vigils for a —CAR— is not a sign of consumer loyalty??? Many lessees tried to BUY their vehicles, offering many times their price; rather than see them taken away and crushed. You can’t tell me there wasn’t something more than a simple lack of choice, to explain the affection many had for their beloved EV1s…

“Holding mock funerals and candlelight vigils for a —CAR— is not a sign of consumer loyalty??? ”

NO, it is NOT. You are confusing loyalty with LOVE. They love the car b/c it was the first ground up EV. They love what the car stand for. Tesla Roadster came later and it sold less than 3,000 units. 2 seater with more range… Nuff said there.

“Many lessees tried to BUY their vehicles, offering many times their price; rather than see them taken away and crushed. ”

“many times”? What was the figure? The highest amount seen was about $30K, how was that many times? Again, Tesla Roadster with more performance and $100K price tag sold for less than 3,000 units. Enough evidence to say that all that “demand” was BS.

When it comes to putting money where their mouth is, the Roadster sales reflected that.

Even today, with all THAT CHOICES, all the PLUGIN cars are selling less than 100K per year. The PURE BEV sales are less than 60K units per year. Nuff said there.

I agree that GM should have not killed the EV1. What other car was so successful to have 99% or more of leasees begging the dealer to let them pay to continue their leases or buy the car outright? It’s true that had GM not killed the car Tesla might not have existed but Elon Musk might have taken over that branch of GM and split it off into to its own brand. Given how well Elon Musk helped to found and run Tesla Motors Corporation while changing the rules it shows GM how the beast it killed can be reincarnated and improved. How do you like those apples GM?

Musk has given a lot of credit to NASA for their successes with SpaceX.

But, I don’t see much technology from GM or the EV-1 on any Tesla.

“But, I don’t see much technology from GM or the EV-1 on any Tesla.”

Ever heard of Alan Cocconi? He was mainly involved in the development of the alternating current-based drivetrain system of the EV-1. He co-founded and worked at AC Propulsion afterwards and guess who licensed very much technology from AC Propulsion? Yep, Tesla.

REALLY I wish more people would take the time to learn a little about the things they say. You are spot on AC Prop. was largely responsible for the AC drive systems we see today “Remember the T-Zero? HaHa! I’d have bought one in a heartbeat. Oh Darn it! It was a two seater as well !!

I think Elon means that EV1 was not a great car by today’s standards. He is correct that GM lost a great opportunity by giving up on EVs. EV2 and EV3 would have been great and today’s Volt wouldn’t have needed a gasoline generator after a poor 40 mile electric range. The EV1 was a game changer and its a tragedy for all of humanity that GM chose the path of the dark side. Tesla, Nissan and others picked up from where GM left but the EV1 was a great car ahead of it’s time. Anyone who says EV1 was not so great either never drove it or is Big Oil proponent.

So GM would have bankrupted faster and earlier even with EV2 and EV3 b/c it wouldn’t make enough money for GM to stay alive….

well thats why i got very depressed i worked hard on the ev1 prototype in secret
they did not take my advice i told them in the
future electric cars would be a winner
but no they they did not get the battery ops going they were thinking in different vectors
if was younger i would pitch in for ELON