Tesla Model S Meets Face-to-Face With GM EV1

OCT 1 2013 BY JAY COLE 25

About 17 years ago, General Motors released a “new hope” for electric transportation – the EV1.

Back In "The Day," General Motors EV1 Was The Green Car To Have

Back In “The Day,” General Motors EV1 Was The Green Car To Have

In total, 1,117 all electric cars were produced and leased to customers with just the GM logo on them.  The cost?  Between $349 to $574.  And depending on which generation you got, the EV1’s range was touted anywhere from 80 to 140 miles (it went less).

As most know, the majority of those cars were destroyed.  A few still remain – but only 1 that is operational – in the Smithsonian Institution.  However, that doesn’t mean they aren’t still making the rounds showing Americans how far we have come with electric transportation.

According to Tesla’s Facebook page:

Old School meets New School: Model S poses next to one of the last living GM EV1s. If you’re in Massachusetts, come check them out on WPI’s main campus today.

Close Up of EV1

Close Up of EV1


Categories: Chevrolet, Tesla


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25 Comments on "Tesla Model S Meets Face-to-Face With GM EV1"

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The EV1, with modern lithium batteries, still make more sense than the Tesla S, or the Volt.

Who will be the first to produce one?

The EV1 with lithium batteries will cost like a Tesla

As said before, you all have to realize that Tesla is NOT like other cars. It has a high percentage of aluminum and other advanced materials. The EV1 might have been the first car designed to be an electric car, but that was a while ago, things have advanced.

your post makes no sense

Rubbish! Put the EV1 body on a BMW i3 chassis. At half the weight and half the CdA of the Tesla S, it would get an EPA of 125 miles easily, and be the best selling EV on the planet.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

Leaf is basically the modern EV1 if you ask me, since its larger size is far more practical and if the EV1 went into full production with multiple generations it would have gotten larger over time.

EV1 actually looks like a Saturn, if you ask me, and one comparable in size to the Leaf would be more attractive, but probably less practical.

If I could have a “modern” EV1 (basically with Li-ION cells, nothing else new) for about $25k I would in a heart beat.

Yes, I would take it over a SparkEV, SmartFor2 ED or even a bare bones LEAF S

The batteries alone would be in the $10-15K range. AFAIK one of the reasons Tesla have gone for high performance/luxury cars to make the batteries a smaller percentage of the street-value.

If you have a petrol car at $10K and a similar electric one at $15K it’s a tough sell compared to a $25K petrol car and $30K electric.

It’s called the Spark EV.

GM could have had this car become their Nissan Leaf but they blew it big time. What is funny is how Nissan and Tesla are each building more EV’s in one month then this car had in it’s several year production run.

I personally think that Who Killed the Electric Car helped fuel the modern 2010’s EV movement.

I’ve thought about that too. With only 1,117 EV1s built, Nissan sells more than that in a single month. And sorry to Warren, but the Leaf is a much better car than an EV1.

By that logic, the Ford F150 is the best vehicle on the planet.

I wasn’t saying the Leaf is better simply because they sell more of them. The Leaf is far more reliable and has far better utility since it can seat 5 people, has more cargo room, and can be quick-charged.

I didn’t mean literally putting a lithium battery into the EV1. A modern version of the EV1 would be every bit as reliable as a Leaf, and have quick charge capability.

The utility of the Leaf, if you define that as range, goes down with every passenger you add. None of the Leaf owners I know carry any passengers on their daily commute, which is the vast majority of their miles. When they do carry two or three extra people, they are very concerned about their range

This idea did give me the idea of conducting a experiment with a EV1 or even a electric car conversion that uses lead acid batteries. Seeing how many pounds changing to lithium would save off of the existing car with the same volume of batteries. Or how many pounds you could knock off of a car by changing over to lithium to get the same amount of range you could have with lead acid batteries. The end result of the project would to see how much of a improvement does weight and lithium batteries really add to a existing lead acid EV. The biggest thing in the I have had with this project from a thought version of it is that I have not been able to get a cost estimate from any of the major battery makers in how much this project would cost.

Check the conversions on EV Album. Many have converted from their original lead acid batteries to lithium. Many of those are truck conversions. None have regretted it. Huge reductions in weight, and big range and performance increase. About the same dollars per mile, because of the poor life of lead acid under EV current loads.

If they invent a EV that can do the same things as that truck and is the same size of it with a 200 to 300 mile range with a fast charger on it that gas guzzling truck will become obsolete over night. In that those trucks only get 15 to 20 miles a gallon.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

Batteries back then were _really_ not up to the task. Without densities >= 100Wh/kg EV1 is basically a station car or Volt sans onboard generator.

It would be cool to see a hot-rodded EV1 with modern motor between the rear axles and LiIon battery though.

What should happen is that GM should realize that history has passed on from whatever their deal was with Chevron to destroy the EV1s out there. Its true that most are gone, but the remaining ones (outside the Smithsonian) could be restored if GM would let them, or even help out.

The car belongs to history and is a valuable piece of history. Let the few remaining examples get restored.

What an admission this would be that GM did something wrong! Sure Mr. Wagoner’s confession and the production of the Volt were to a large part a redemption, however there is a large number of GM folks and fans who would not admit even today what a disaster was the destruction of the EV1s.

The destruction of all the EV1’s was a success for GM actually. In that their goal was to postpone the public knowing about the endless benefits of owning an EV over an ICE car. They are essentially doing the same thing w/ the Spark EV…
…and will continue to do so for as lonnnnnng as they can. Eventually, in the not so distant future, Tesla will rule the automotive world.
PS Honda, who shredded their late 90’s EV’s, is following GM’s lead re pure EV’s. With Honda’s amazing engineering and manufacturering standards it’s a crying shame. I’ve experienced what they are capable of having owned a first generation Insight that could average 70+ mpg in US95 east coast traffic. Oh…well… thank goodness that Elon came around 😉

I agree.

I drove a honda for the last eight years, before it was recently totalled in an accident, and it was seven years old when I bought it.
Simple car, gas milage only slightly less that cars ten years younger, robust engine and gearbox, no unnecessary wussy stuff, like power windows, heated seats and steering wheel, and single parts for easy replacement rather than large expensive modules.

Such great engineering, so reliable, that for years I was ready to buy a mass market Honda ev – which never happened.

The bag is out of the cat now….

As far as I’m convened Tesla motors is the Hero of our time. GM had its chance, and they showed their true colors when they destroyed the EV-1. What Tesla is doing now, all the major car makers could have done then, but for whatever reason, they didn’t. Now along comes Tesla, who has the insight and courage to buck the system and develop the electric vehicle for the modern age. Now that the cats out of the bag, and there’s a profit to be made, and all of a sudden GM and the rest have become environmentally conscience and concerned with producing a reduced oil burning means of transportation. In my opinion, Tesla deserves to dominate the electric vehicle market and go down in history as the company that changed the world for better. Is there room for other manufactures to develop new products that will compete with Tesla? Sure, but those companies will never be the ones with the balls to do what Tesla has done. So for me, it’s Tesla first, then the puppets.

I always remember that line from cheers:

A. We are just shocked and disappointed, Norm, and we don’t think we can do business with you anymore.

N. I’ll do it for half price….

A. We’ll leave you the keys…