With Upcoming Chevrolet Bolt Launch, GM Needs To Remember The EV1

Chevy Bolt EV

SEP 30 2016 BY STEVEN LOVEDAY 158

2017 Chevrolet Bolt

2017 Chevrolet Bolt

Years ago … 20 to be precise … General Motors unleashed the two-seat electric EV1. One year later, after building only 1,100 of them, the cars ended up in a trash pile in Mesa, Arizona. Wow! It was likely one of the biggest mistakes GM ever made (at least from a PR point of view as you still hear about that decision today). Now, almost twenty years later, the company will release another all-electric vehicle; the Chevrolet Bolt.

General Motors EV1

General Motors EV1

It is a very different time, and GM is employed by a very different group of people. We can’t really imagine the company making the same mistake again.

However, the bottom line reality of the car will probably still not be very good. Electric cars are expensive to make, and (relatively speaking) not many people are buying them yet.

Salespeople aren’t adequately trained to sell them and many dealerships don’t really promote them. Maybe GM will be implementing (or forcing) a change to these practices with the release of the Bolt.

Mark Reuss, GM head of product development shared:

“The people who make GM change over time. Many leave, many come, many have seen many times. The people who let EV1 perish are not here. The people who make Volts, Bolts, etc are here engineering and making them. While we work for an entity or holding company which is similar — the people who define the entity are completely different. Time to think of GM as who it IS, not who it WAS. We are not an ‘IT’.”

If GM has realized its oversight at the time, the company may already be way ahead of the likes of Nissan and Tesla. But with the release of the Bolt, GM has a second chance. There is no reason that the company can’t gain monumental strides in the electric car market. Promising to be well ahead of the release of the Tesla Model 3 by leaps and bounds, and now fulfilling that promise, should surely help.

Added to this, GM has kept its promises of a vehicle range of over 200 miles, and a price around $30,000 after the federal tax rebate. Actually, the Bolt is rated at 238 miles per charge, with a myriad of test drivers touting that the car may hit nearly 300! And yes …the base Chevy Bolt will fall under 30k after the rebate as promised as well (from $36,620 + $875 DST).

GM has already proven its commitment to electric vehicles with the Chevy Volt; and although the first generation Volt didn’t fare quite as well as originally expected, GM stuck it out, making the car better and better over time. It was the top-selling plug-in for 2012 and 2013, and has been second or third to the Nissan LEAF and/or the Tesla Model S since then. It will be interesting to see where the Bolt falls on such lists, and also how the promotion of the Bolt will affect Volt sales.

Source: Autonews

Categories: Chevrolet

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158 Comments on "With Upcoming Chevrolet Bolt Launch, GM Needs To Remember The EV1"

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A main missing ingredient is no GM commitment to DC fast charging infrastructure. Not at their dealers, not in the surrounding communities, and not 300 miles out into flyover country. This could be a real impediment to BOLT sales, and since they’re all in on CCS, ignoring the CHAdeMO lead, it’s up to these latecoming automakers to fill the infrastructure gap.

That’s one place Ford shines. You can always get a charge at most of their dealerships.

That’s not a workable model. All the Ford dealerships I am aware of – have ACTIVELY discouraged people from using their charging stations.

And they are only Level 2 – not Level 3 DC quick charging.

Yes, I would have hoped GM at least joined with VW and BMW et al with some money. Maybe they will see their error before too long?

Ford doesn’t even have a car with level 3 DC charging . . . oh wait, I guess they did just add CCS to the still under-batteried Ford Focus electric.

Hold on. Are you comparing the “under-batteried” 2017 Focus Electric to the Bolt, or to every other EV currently available. The 2017 has a bigger battery than the Leaf, and about the same range, although it doesn’t yet have the EPA release yet.

Not everyone cares about a supercharging network Tesla fanboy…

Personally I would rather save an extra $2-$3k on the price of the car and never use it 🙂

To each, his own? I think the Supercharger network is excellent, and it will sell almost as many Tesla cars – as the cars themselves.

I hope that other car makers can license Superchargers. That would be amazing!

Exactly, this is the main reason I will wait for the Model3, with the SC network it can be your only car. Until CCS gets faster and more widespread the Bolt is still a second car…

The Model 3 won’t have lifetime no-charge to charge Supercharger access built into the price. So if you don’t want it, you don’t have to pay for it either.

Either way it’s built in to it somewhat…

You think they have the hardware just sitting there in case you want to use it once or twice and not charge you anything for it in the price of the car?

Base Bolt = $36,695
Base Model 3 = $35,000
I would rather save the money and have a car I CAN travel distances with.

I swear I wish I had a dollar for every time I read that comment. WE KNOW.

What Safety features will be on the car, standard and optional?

Automatic Cruise Control?
Advanced braking? High speed, or low speed collision prevention?

I’d rather have a 3rd party or parities create the CCS network. Something like Europe’s FastNED.

If it’s their business, they will pay more attention to it, maintain it, expand it where needed, etc.

Just look at how well the H2 network is coming along….

A car manufacturer could never match a number of companies dedicated to fast chargers.

And if the Bolt isn’t selling enough GM will only have to ship it to Europe and sell it as an Ampera-E. Locally there are 17 superchargers (~100 stalls) and 200 CCS stations. We would be happy to take those EVs. 🙂

Keyword “dedicated”

To the commenters above me- only those who have not had the opportunity to fast charge would dismiss it as unnecessary. I think about all the times I went out of my way in my Volt to get…TEN miles per hour of charge; meanwhile now that I get OVER THREE HUNDRED mile per hour charge rate in my X…and I am not sure I will EVER go out of my way in the Volt again. Fast charging now makes me just think, ‘screw it; just burn the gas’ And anyone who sits there and says it is okay for someone else to build out the charging network has not looked at the map of DCFCs (at least here in NY; other places are much better). Beyond the NY-Albany corridor in the SE end of the state, there is exactly ONE DCFC that is not Tesla in the vast majority of the state. I can head east and reach superchargers in Utica AND Albany. I can head south and reach superchargers in Syracuse AND Binghamton. Heading north, I have Watertown. Heading west, I have Buffalo. Meanwhile, if I were to go buy a Bolt, I can head to Ithaca…that’s it. This… Read more »

Completely agree

..and Ithaca is broken, then it works, broken…

See Plugshare

Exactly. Its hard for West Coasters to believe, but that downtown Ithaca, NY location (“Diane’s Auto”), is the ONLY non- tesla fast charger in the states within a reasonable driving range. By using back roads, for me it is 150 miles away, and much further if I use “Established” Routes. I investigated thie combo CCS/Chademo device while at the Ithaca ‘Drive Electric’ event 2 weeks ago. To add what you say that the thing is unreliable, I talked with the organizer of the Ithaca, Ny ‘DE’ event, who told me they had a very long lead time to get it going. Here’s the situation: The charger (ostensibly 50 kw, but I doubt it charges that fast since I cant possibly see how they get more than 190 volts at the input of the charger, since its rated draw at 208 volts is 160 amps) is one of the rare dual voltage input models – a 208 volt service was installed for this, on very tiny aerial wiring to the nearest existing 75 kw transformer bank 300 feet away (about 6 poles away), which also runs a restaurant with 45 kw of loading. Pole transformers can withstand huge overloads, but the… Read more »

wow, Bill, this takes me back to the good ol’ pre-FUDiot days — the amount of info here is both informative, and disheartening..
I woulda’ been ‘Diane’ )in your neck ‘o the woods), had I not retired and sold, as I saw it as nearly a Duty to offer DC charge to support EV. If she is swamped with demand charges for that effort, that explains a LOT about availability. Thanks!

+1 Jay

I take all your points – and they are all correct – but, I think EV’s will change the market. And that change will be driven by US – the educated and passionate people who already know that ELECTRIC CARS ARE THE FUTURE.

They have to be.

Tesla showed with their ~373,000 deposits that there is a VERY large pent up demand for an electric car with at least 200 miles of range.

Think about it: has there ever been a product that had anywhere near as many people willing (and able) to put down $1,000 for something they will wait (at least?) ~2 years for?

The ONLY reason to lease a Bolt EV (even with a 15K/year limit) – is to then buy it at the end of the lease. 15K/yr is only ~41 miles per day – so how often would you need ~238 miles in on drive?

I just contacted my local Chevy dealer – and ASKED them to contact me as soon as they know they are getting a Bolt EV in for test drives. Really.

The Bolt EV will be big. It is EXACTLY what Tesla wanted to happen. The “market” has spoken.

The best reason to lease the Bolt is to return it after 2 years and buy the Tesla Model 3 when it comes out, unless you find out that you are fine with it already and just replace your last gas car with the model 3 instead.

Does the Model 3 all of a sudden have a hatch and folding rear seats so that it can store a bunch of stuff?

5 adult comfortably or a 7′ surfboard…

3 dogs

…and a partridge in a pear tree.

“5 adult comfortably or a 7′ surfboard…”

And you know this how? Based on Elon’s promise?

Well, he said 7 adults in the Model X comfortable. For any adults in the 3rd row, that is completely BS.

Now, Bolt has 94 cuft of interior passenger volume. That matches Model S. Do you think Model 3 will have more interior passenger volume than the Model S? if you do, you must be a lunatic.

“Do you think Model 3 will have more interior passenger volume than the Model S? if you do, you must be a lunatic.”

Wrongfully ASSUMING what people think is the behavior of a true lunatic…

I was thinking of leasing a Bolt EV for (2-3 years), which is when I’d probably be able to finally place my Model 3 order. But if I find I didn’t really ever want/need DC fast charging, or I didn’t really need any more acceleration (my Volt is already plenty fast), then I’d just keep the Bolt EV and pass on the Model 3. The functionality & utility of the Bolt is much better. The higher seating is also nice to have.

Once Bolt EV leasing #’s are announced.. we’ll see if I pull the trigger.

I’m thinking the same. The only reason I won’t look at the Bolt is if GM continues to steal the federal tax credit instead of passing it along to lease customer.

That is a function of cap reduction in order to get to the advertised lease payment. If you want to pay more per month, you’re welcome to the rebate. Oh wait – you aren’t. It is for purchases. Not leases.

Your frustration is misplaced.

I think you’re confused. Just about every automaker reduces the cap cost by the full amount of the federal tax credit $7500. There have been many people complaining that GM does not pass the federal tax credit as a reduction to the cap cost. What State do you live in where the federal tax credit has been a cap cost reduction on a GM lease?
If something has changed, I’ll be thrilled.

“I just contacted my local Chevy dealer – and ASKED them to contact me as soon as they know they are getting a Bolt EV in for test drives. Really.”

If you actually get a call back it’ll probably be “You need to come down right now, just got 60 of them in!!! You wanted a Silverado, right?”

A local GM dealer told me they were ordering the Bolt in 2 weeks (1 week ago) and the Bolt would arrive sometime between Jan and Mar. 2017. Central US.
The only comments were
1) We’ve taken several calls on the Bolt over the past week.
2) Can we follow up with you in Jan.?

This was a 180 degree experience from looking at a Nissan Leaf. The salesman spoke to me about battery fires while taking me to the very back corner of the lot where a Nissan Leaf was parked. The Leaf hadn’t been washed in months. The blue car was literally the color of dirt. I’m not the biggest GM fan, but I’ll give credit where it’s due.

Where it is due?

Dealers are independently owned. My Nissan dealer was fine (as was my GM). The only issue is that the GM dealer was overpriced back in 2013 with Volt.

Yeah, I had the same conversation at a Hyundai dealership. I told them I would buy the first Ionic BEV that came in. Two days latter I got a call telling me a Sonata with the option package I wanted just cam in.

Ionic… Sonata, they sound so much alike.

Just like in retail, rule one is SWAT, Sell What’s Available Today.

41 miles per day on average does not preclude the occasional 500 mile trip, particularly as one does not drive 365 days per year.

One good reason to lease a Bolt is to get a more advanced EV a few years later. It’s why I leased an e-Golf in 2015. In 2018 there will be a number of better range EV options available.

I agree strongly with this. I leased my Volt because I knew there would be many a better option in 3 years. Not even 18 months in and there are already better options. I’m really hoping for a reasonably priced CUV but we’ll see what they have in another 18 months.

Not to mention with the $7,500 and the $2,500 CA rebate the lease price and the down payment are crazy cheap. The CA rebate covered my down and I charge for free which basically offset so in essence I get the car for free (which is nice as my old Honda had transmission and AC problems so it needed to go!)

offsets my gas i meant

So obviously you will be purchasing the Bolt.

Aren’t you just a bit concerned, and wary, of the fact that this is a totally new kind of vehicle from GM, and that a significant portion of the Bolt has been outsourced to LG?

Specifically, LG supplied systems and components include the electric motor, the power inverter module, the on-board charger, the electric climate control compressor, the battery pack and cells, the battery heater, the instrument cluster and the infotainment system. Whew!… that’s a lot!

For perhaps the first year of production, I see leasing rather than buying as a smart move, at least until reliability of the many LG components has been proven.

Remember, GM does a lot of due-diligence regarding quality control and vehicle testing before they crank the lines up to 100% and start delivering cars to the public.

Well that is a good point. Unlike Tesla, GM (and in fact, I think all large auto makers) have many pre-production units of a new car model driven for months before they start selling it to the general public, so hopefully any flaws will be discovered and fixed before high-volume production starts.

Perhaps the lack of experience by LG Electronics’ new automotive division won’t be as problematic as I fear. But I’m still going to be more than slightly surprised if the Bolt turns out to be exceptionally reliable, as the Volt has proven to be.

Ignition switch was a great example of quality control. How many deaths? Then there was air bags. GM caught that? Keep the faith!

GM has proven its commitment to EV’s with the Volt?? I think not! By definition, an EV would not have an engine. It is, using a term Chevroler coined, an EREV which has a complete internal combustion drive train. Chevrolets commitment bgins by only releasing the Bolt in select markets, aka Compliance States. Not real clear when widespread availability is planned.

I sincerely hope the Bolt gains wide-spread acceptance and is sold in large numbers nationwide, but until it actually happens, that commitment has yet to be seen.

GM stuck with the Volt, that is certain.

But, the Volt is not an EV, and they have severely muddied the waters, insisting that it is.

Perhaps what’s muddying the waters is insisting that it is not, and making up definitions that not everyone agrees with along the way.

We’ve been over this 1000 times. The Volt is a PTPHEVPTEREVPTEV. Simple.

Part-time plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, part-time extended-range electric vehicle, part-time electric vehicle.

So what’s it called when the Volt ~HAS~ to burn fuel because it’s old/stale?

OPEC Swallow-er.

NeilBlanchard said:

“…the Volt is not an EV, and they have severely muddied the waters, insisting that it is.”

As they say: “You’re entitled to your own opinion, but you’re not entitled to your own facts.”

The Volt is a PHEV, and a PHEV is just one of several types of EVs. The term “EV” does not, as you seem to think, mean only “BEV”, or “battery electric vehicle”.

A BEV is much simpler to make. GM will be fine.

Is it? Have you seen the Bolt powertrain? There’s so much stuff under the hood, I think they’re hiding an engine in there.

In the golden age when there are charging stations at every parking spot, we can be EV Purists.

Until then the Volt is a good choice.

Yeah, EV purists can be real annoying.

DON’T LET THE PERFECT BE THE ENEMY OF THE GOOD!

Pure EVs are coming along but the only way we can move A LOT OF VEHICLES to electricity is with PHEV since too many Americans insist on huge cars.

“Chevrolets commitment bgins by only releasing the Bolt in select markets, aka Compliance States.”
———-

You have to start somewhere. So when the Bolt EV is available nationwide sometime in 2017, what will you say at that moment?

“Chevrolets commitment bgins by only releasing the Bolt in select markets, aka Compliance States. Not real clear when widespread availability is planned.”

And you are spreading this rumor based on what?

Bolt and its variant is already planned for all 50 states, Canada, EU and China. What is your rumor based on?

MMF, IMHO it is based, simply, upon “I don’t trust GM”. As the owner of two ’70’s and one 80’s GM product, I know I was a vocal opponent of Any Damned Thing that GM’s infamously Bad management proclaimed. I was slowly convinced, here and elsewhere (don’t forget the legion of people that post ‘their’ singular horrific experience with the Volt, elsewhere) Both the original merits of the design (a bit hard to understand, originally — and why I harp on the FUDiot-speak that might chase EV-interest away, as those incredible engineer-commenters that could dissect and explain every facet of the Volt’s abilities from a GM that I had laughed at for Decades -Taught- me that better -NON-GM- minds than mine were truly Impressed) and Then, it turned out to be very trouble free, and near-universally loved by its owners. WOW moment, personally. So, That is what convinced Me, as if it matters.. the point being that Mary and her band of engineers have created a device that Likely will impress a few More naysayers, like me.. fingers crossed (and also for seeing the Light, and making a RHD version of Both EVs, as that is just stubborn bean-counter think… Read more »

“Now, almost twenty years later, the company will release another all-electric vehicle; the Chevrolet Bolt”

GM’s first all electric vehicle available for consumers is called SparkEV, and it’s been available for 3 years. That makes SparkEV the true very first consumer EV from GM, and one hell of an engineering job they did, too. I’m sure some will claim SparkEV is only a compliance car, but unlike EV1 which no one can actually own and was only in CA, you can buy SparkEV in several states and countries and ship it to anywhere in the world.

“One year later, after building only 1,100 of them, the cars ended up in a trash pile ”

This is not true. They made them for many years. It’s only after they “defeated” CARB mandate that they started scrapping them. EV1 had several iterations and versions in development, which GM promptly flushed down the toilet (or trash pile).

If only they had sold the Spark EV in all 50 states – then that would have helped firm up their commitment.

They probably would have if they didn’t have Bolt in development. In fact, they announced much wider sales, including Europe, which they scrapped. I suspect when they realized they could make Bolt at ~$30K, they decided not to release SparkEV wider.

The Spark EV was always a learning-project and compliance car. I think most of the automakers now realize that you have to build a good EV from the ground up. Conversions will just never be satisfactory due to battery placement.

SparkEV battery placement isn’t bad; it achieves almost 50/50 balance, and doesn’t sacrifice the trunk like Ford. Problem is that it’s not easy to put more battery in it, hence not as much range upgrade path.

But back in late 2013, it would’ve been better than just about all EV in market for the money, especially against similar sized cars like Zoe, one of the best selling EV in Europe. Before Tesla zealots chime in, I say “for the money”.

They also had the S10 EV out (less than 500) about the same time as the EV1 which could be bought, it even had a heat pump!

S10 EV was for fleet customers, not to consumers. But you bring an interesting point: put Bolt bits into S10 like small truck. There are so many possibilities, which I suspect GM won’t take advantage of.

Oldsmobile had an EV in 1901, though GM didn’t buy them till 1908.

I would buy that truck in a heartbeat

Buying the Spark EV and shipping it to another state/country is a really, really bad idea. Several people did it with the RAV4EV and none of the Toyota dealerships would touch it. Of course this was more of a problem with the RAV4EV and its Toyota and Tesla computers arguing all the time, but the point is there: How many GM dealerships would touch the Spark EV in a non-CARB state? Probably none.

Any Volt-certified dealer should be able to handle all Spark EV issues. The tech training for the Spark EV is just an online training.

In forum, people often ask about buying SparkEV in non-CARB states, and the most common advise is to ask the dealer before buying. As Bro pointed out, dealers that can service Volt most likely can service SparkEV.

So far, there are SparkEV in many non CARB states. In addition to CA, OR, MD, there are WA, NV, UT, CO, AZ, MS, KS, GA, FL, TX, NJ, NY, PA, VA, NC, MI, etc. etc. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are in almost all 50 states.

Hey SparkEV,

We just got our first one in Boise. I saw one along with a Fiat EV at Drive Electric week. (Oh and one gentleman was kind enough to bring his Model X)
The Spark would fit nicely in our small garage.

Sparky, I admire your dedication to promoting your favorite EV, the Spark EV, but you can’t change the reality: The Spark EV is a California Compliance car, and thus from a marketing perspective much like the EV1, and not like the Bolt. The fact that some people at GM have chosen to send a very limited number of the model to non-CARB States (or even a few to Mexico) does not alter the fact that the Spark EV was designed and built to be a compliance car, and nothing more.

The Spark EV isn’t made in sufficient volume to make an overall profit on the model, and thus GM did not design or produce the car with any intention of putting it into a high — or even moderate — rate of production.

Contrariwise, the Bolt is designed and built with at least a moderate production rate in mind. I’m pretty sure that GM doesn’t intend to lose money long-term on the Bolt, as they did and do with the Spark EV.

Same old from PuPu. If SparkEV is losing money, why would GM sell in Korea, Canada, Mexico for even less money than in US? Even Tesla’s not available in Korea (yet) while SparkEV is.

And why did they announce European release few years ago (which was canceled later) if they didn’t intend to sell more broadly initially?

There are lots of other ways to look at it to see that SparkEV doesn’t lose money. There’s something magical about SparkEV that makes you lose all sense and logic.

But there are undeniable things: SparkEV is the very first EV available for consumer ownership from GM, and it’s the quickest car (any car) under $20K post subsidy. Unlike EV1, there’s nothing stopping you from buying one today.

SparkEV asked:

“If SparkEV is losing money, why would GM sell in Korea, Canada, Mexico for even less money than in US?”

I don’t know why GM chose to make a few token sales of this compliance car in non-compliance regions. Presumably it was for marketing reasons, but I won’t pretend to understand the intricacies of how large auto makers balance their profits and losses by selling in various markets. Jay Cole wrote a long and fascinating comment (unfortunately not an article) on the subject not so long ago, but mainly what I got out of it is just how little I understand the subject, and how complex it is.

You appear to be looking for a simple answer. Based on what Jay wrote, I doubt the answer is at all simple.

So what you’re saying is you don’t know why GM is losing more money by selling in non-compliance countries, that the situation is very complex, but regardless of anything else, you are certain that SparkEV is losing money? There’s a term for something like that, and it’s called blind-faith religion.

This is nonsense-illogical you, a member of “SparkEV loses money” religion, unlike the brilliant comment you made about EV1 below.

Correction: 20 years ago. The EV1 came out in ’96 with the Gen2 model and NiMH option coming in ’99.

EV people need to:

when it comes to EV-1.

That was ancient history. And in GM’s defense, gasoline prices hit a nadir when the EV-1 was released and the batteries of the time were not up to the job (Even though “Who killed the Electric Car” tries to claim otherwise.)

Now I fully agree, they should have kept working on EVs and PHEVs in the background instead of completely dropping the program. We could have been 5 or 10 years ahead of where we are now if they didn’t take a decade off working on EVs.

But today, GM is doing a great job with Volt and the Bolt. The ELR was a disaster but least they tried it. They just need to put the Voltec drivetrain into many more bodies . . . SUVs, minivans, pick-ups, CUVs, bigger sedans, etc.

Also in defense of GM, etc. EV1 did not have DCFC, which made it difficult. Even just going to work and home, there can be unforeseen circumstances which may require one to drive much further than battery only range.

Having used SparkEV without using DCFC for few weeks as an experiment, I don’t think EV without DCFC is going to work, certainly not for me, an EV enthusiasts, and definitely not for general public.

Yeah, I have an EV without DCFC and, yes, it sucks. I am looking forward to the Model 3. It can’t get here fast enough.

I need range but I personally don’t want a PHEV.

And besides the daily use and function of DCFC… I figure the resale value will stay somewhat higher for vehicles with it… versus without.

speculawyer said:

“…when the EV-1 was released and the batteries of the time were not up to the job (Even though ‘Who killed the Electric Car’ tries to claim otherwise.)”

Truth. Thank you.

Sure… this is the reason why GM sold them to Texaco and destroyed the EV1s…
105 miles range for the 1999 Ni-MH version : EPA 2015 adjusted range.

You are confusing what GM did before CARB passed the ZEV circa 1999 ZEV (Zero Emission Vehicle) mandate with what GM did afterward. Yes, after CARB passed that mandate, GM reacted very negatively, and took steps to make sure that the mandate would have to be rolled back. From a business standpoint, this is perfectly understandable. As I’ve pointed out, there was absolutely no way that GM could make and sell cars like the EV1 at a profit, and no government mandate could change that engineering/economic reality. In fact, that’s still a problem today: Well-meaning environmental activists keep pushing the government to adopt regulations which make it difficult or even impossible for businesses to make a profit while complying. The government cannot mandate that inventions, or advancements in EV tech, must happen on a schedule… much as they try. But let us not forget that GM was fully committed to putting the EV1 into production before CARB passed the circa 1999 ZEV mandate, and in fact it was excitement over GM making that announcement which prompted CARB to pass the ZEV mandate. Too many EV enthusiasts confuse the cause and effect there; perhaps the truth-twisting in “Who Killed the Electric… Read more »

YOU are confusing and finding excuses for GM.
Look for “The ZEV Program Timeline:”

https://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/zevprog/zevregs/zevregs.htm

“there was absolutely no way that GM could make and sell cars like the EV1 at a profit”

Economy of scale 101 for you? Never when a car is produced in such small numbers a company will make a profit. It’s basic logic as you have to pay for the investments. GM was developing the Impact from 1990 on its own. The Impact was the model for the EV1.
So investments were not that high to comply with ZEV,the product was nearly ready.

Produce only 1000 Bolt and see what each unit will cost you!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economies_of_scale

“(Volt) was the top-selling plug-in for 2012 and 2013, and has been second or third to the Nissan LEAF and/or the Tesla Model S since then.”
——-
Note the Gen 2 Volt is outselling the Leaf 2:1 so far this year.

What a very strange article. From a marketing perspective, there is almost nothing that’s similar between the EV1 and the Bolt. The EV1 was a test market car, and despite the propaganda in “Who Killed the Electric Car?”, there was never any chance that GM would put anything that expensive and money-losing into general production. Another important difference is that GM is farming out the manufacture of the entire EV powertrain for the Bolt to LG Electronics, rather than building it in-house… or using their existing suppliers. Contracting with a new and inexperienced company like LG Electronics’ new automotive division, is very obviously a cost-savings measure. All the signs point to GM actually intending to make money on the Bolt… or at least not losing money, as they did with the EV1 and almost certainly did during the first few years of Volt production. GM didn’t actually sell the EV1; they only leased it, because it was never intended to be produced for long, and GM didn’t want to have the liability of continuing to make and stock replacement parts for 10 years, as they would have been required to, under law, if they had actually sold the vehicle. Again,… Read more »

“despite the propaganda in “Who Killed the Electric Car?”, there was never any chance that GM would put anything that expensive and money-losing into general production”

This. It was a pure compliance car. Now they should have kept up the work on the back-burner instead of completely killing the program and they should have let the people keep their EV-1s but people have too much nostalgia over that impractical uneconomic compliance car science project.

The main reason this isn’t the same GM that killed the all-electric EV-1 is that it isn’t the same GM. Or did everyone suddenly forget That General Motors Corporation ceased to exist in 2009 and this is General Motors Company? If you owned shares in the former, you will not forget.

GM sucks.

I always find it odd that GM get’s blamed for “Killing the EV”, but they are also the ones who gave birth to it in the 90’s.

Where were the EVs from Ford, Chrysler, Honda, Toyota, VW, BMW, Volvo, etc? What’s worse; making a test EV then cancelling it after a few years (but using the information learned later), or never making an EV to begin with?

Yup. “Who Killed the Electric Car?” goes pretty far out of its way to convict GM of “killing” the electric car, but the film is told from a very biased viewpoint and even makes significant claims which are completely untrue… such as pronouncing batteries “not guilty” of the “crime”.

Reality check: Batteries simply were not up to the task circa 1999. Even in 2008, when Tesla started selling the Roadster, battery tech was only marginally good enough to support making an electric car that wasn’t a money-loser.

There are other “sins” for which I won’t forgive GM, such as not developing Voltec and putting it into any other car (except the designed-to-fail Cadillac ELR), and supporting anti-competitive legislation intended to block Tesla sales.

But GM deserves credit for developing the EV1 and actually putting it into limited production, rather than blame for “killing” the EV. Let’s remember that the modern integrated AC motor controller, including its highly energy-efficient inverter, was developed (for the Impact prototype, by Alan Cocconi) at GM. That invention is used in all, or very nearly all, modern production passenger vehicle EVs. Even Tesla’s EV tech can be traced back to that.

The EV1 Gen 2 had a 26 kwh battery. NiMH – a chemistry that proved to be pretty bullet-proof in the Prius. That is a bigger battery capacity than the Leaf had until last year and GM put it on the road in the EV1 in 1999.

NiMH was good enough to make a decent EV, but too bad we’ll never know how history would have played out if California hadn’t caved in and ended their ZEV requirements.

GM made one of the biggest errors ever by canceling the EV1 program (after investing more than a billion and seizing global leadership of EV technology) and instead buying Hummer.

If they had nurtured the EV1’s technology using that money (including large format NiMH batteries) and sold it as an expensive high-tech luxury car a la Tesla they’d have been better off than where they ended up with Hummer.

BenjaminG said:

“…too bad we’ll never know how history would have played out if California hadn’t caved in and ended their ZEV requirements.”

Oh, I completely disagree. We can be quite certain that if CARB had not rolled back the ZEV requirements, that GM and the other major auto makers would have simply stopped selling cars in California.

We can’t force anyone to run a business at a loss. They’ll simply fold up shop and look for other markets.

LOL at GM and other automakers stopping selling cars in California, with it’s population of 39 million people.

CARB’s regulations in 2001, looking forward, may have been too ambitious, but there could have been a middle ground found that still required the automakers to continue to develop and sell increasing amounts of EVs, rather than abandoning the requirements entirely.

They were fooled by a false optimism over fuel cell vehicles at the time.

“We can be quite certain that if CARB had not rolled back the ZEV requirements, that GM and the other major auto makers would have simply stopped selling cars in California.”

You really think so ?

The 1999 RAV4-EV was simply adapted from the existing RAV4 with the inherent caveats of an adaptation, and the Ni-MH batteries gave it 90 miles of normalized 2015 EPA range.

“Who Killed the Electric Car” is pretty fair and balanced, I would add even a little shy.

Basic economy of scale tells that any car, ANY car built in small numbers will not make a profit. GM was ready to go large scale.

Ni-MH batteries gave the EV1 105 miles of range (EPA 2015 normalized)

Here is the interesting testimony of a first hand user :

-freeway commuting with minimal stop and go: 130-150 miles per charge

-city driving mixed with freeway (including “performance demonstrations”): 100-130 miles per charge

-worst case – hard use including driving in the hills: 75-100 miles per charge

http://www.ev1.pair.com/charge_across_america/charge_html/nimh_test2.html

the “who killed the ev1” crowd is such a fringe group, even within the segment of ev enthusiasts, that i doubt that gm is really attempting to market to that group. the commercial prospects of the chevrolet volt will be much more influenced by actual sales results than it will be by fringe conspiracy theories.

Well… Ford had the Ranger EV pickup ( they are still about if you know where to look.), Honda had the EV Plus basically a Nissan LEAF competitor nowadays… Toyota had their first RAV4ev with the NiMh batteries (also still around)…of these only Ford and Toyota are still out there because they weren’t evil enough to crush them. They all lacked DC QC which made them less useful… but all were avail in 90s. Crying shame what GM did with the freaking batteries selling them to big oil.

The EV1 was sold leased from 1996 to 1999. They were destroyed in 2003.

The demand was so strong that people got arrested while demonstrating, they offered GM a global check to buy them.

The demand for good affordable electrics is overwhelming!

They are expensive only because none of the ICE car makers care to build them massively. They all are aware of the substancial scale economies coming along with mass production, they use it all the time, often loosing money for the first batches knowing awareness, marketing and mouth to ear will do the job of growing the demand even more.

“The EV1 was sold leased from 1996 to 1999. They were destroyed in 2003.” It was NEVER sold. It was LEASE Only. So, you are making up stuff. “The demand was so strong that people got arrested while demonstrating, they offered GM a global check to buy them.” Yes, arrested for demonstrating for trying to have something they never OWNED. It is like you are demanding to buy a house for $500K while paying for the rent at $1,500/month while the house is valued at $800K. Only idiots would have agreed to your offer of $500K. But somehow people calculated the cost based on the subsidized lease rate. As far as your lunatic claims that more production will lower the cost. It was first with LEAF acid battery which wouldn’t lower the cost at all. Second of all, even with NiMH battery, the technology is so inferior, it wouldn’t have worked competitively. Lithium ion battery was extremely expensive at the time. Even with huge demand from computers and other electronics, the Lithium battery cost is ONLY cost effective somewhat after 20 years of Billion of kWh demand from electronic industry. But you ignore all that logics and insisted that greater… Read more »

Considering that they were (planned to be, and actually were) scrapped on repossession, their value was zero, or perhaps materials. So your house price analogy is a little off. It’s more like “Here, take this $500K, instead of burning down the house, salting the earth, and leaving the lot permanently vacant. Please?”

“Considering that they were (planned to be, and actually were) scrapped on repossession, their value was zero, or perhaps materials.”

Car manufactures have to support the car after sale for number of years, this includes parts and services.

***mod edit (staff)***
Using vulgar language in an effort to alert mods of other behavior you feel is inappropriate is unacceptable. In this case, being 2 writers down and an editor-in-chief in the air all day, this excessively offensive comment was online for the better part of 12 hours – and was many times worse than any personal affront to one person.

Please govern yourself accordingly in the future. Thanks.
***mod edit***

I take note, but maybe you should keep an eye on the routinely insulting behavior of ModernMarvelFan toward me in particular, as well as other commentators. Thank you.

I didn’t noticed that I let the word “sold” in my comment after correction.

After 12 years, NI-MH are still fine in Prius es.

I love you too MMF;-)

“After 12 years, NI-MH are still fine in Prius es”

LOL.

It is fine for a 100% gasser like Prius, thanks for your confirmation.

Again, you have no engineering or automotive knowledge except for a bunch of conspiracy theory or lame projection of what your self claimed “economic 101”. NiMH is never good enough in terms of energy density to make the car viable.

EV-1 was a compact car with 2 seat. It only reached 100 miles range because it has one of the low Cd ever recorded. But the battery was heavy and it will never work in today’s car requirement.

Learn to let it go sometimes would help your credibility.

RexxSee said:

“The demand was so strong that people got arrested while demonstrating, they offered GM a global check to buy them.

“The demand for good affordable electrics is overwhelming!”

You are confusing a few passionate supporters with a broad base of support. It’s like “Star Trek” fans. Yes, the ardent fans of the show are extremely loyal. But the reality is that the original “Star Trek” was cancelled because of low network ratings.

Just because a few (or relatively few) EV1 leasers, or would-be leasers, were screaming at GM “Shut up and take my money!”… doesn’t mean GM could have sold enough of the cars to justify more than limited production, not if they had priced the EV1 high enough to actually make a profit.

Just take a look at these 2 ads and tell me the difference. Tell me when they were issued. Its obvious that one is to sell the car, and the other is to scare people away from it and kill off the demand, as they killed the cars themselves.

There are StarTrek fans, and there are the larges crowds of ordinary people who go to see the movies and make them the huge success we all know.

When an electric is properly marketed, they sell very well. Heck! Tesla is stealing the show of luxury cars with $100,000 cars! Without advertisement! Wake up pushmi.

“Tesla is stealing the show of luxury cars with $100,000 cars! Without advertisement! Wake up pushmi.”

That is because Model S is using Lithium ion battery technology that enjoyed over a decade long cost saving from the electronic industry.

It got performance and size because of Lithium ion battery that NiMH battery could never provide in the size/weight that is required for Model S.

The point is that there were viable good long range electrics 20 years ago. people were ready to buy them, but the car companies removed them.
It was not a matter of technology nor price. They just killed the first wave when they saw the potential demand killing theyir own milk cow the pollutant, expensive to run fragile and inefficient ICE.

Why GM is producing Spark and Bolt now, if EV is killing ICE ?

The Bolt EV…Jack of all trades aka master of none… The issue is the decisions they make…Disclaimer: This is good ole’ SATIRE… GM’s thought process: Congrats LG, thank you for producing EV powertrain that will achieve 300+ miles! First we can’t possibly add any of the following as they’re all just too heavy and we’re too lazy to engineer them lighter: power/memory seats/sunroof/Super Cruise/ACC/Garage door opener/heat pump…What vehicle do we currently have at Chevy with the glaring omissions? We keep hearing SUV/CUVs are red hot, we’ve never called our slow-selling, unstylish and drag-disaster Sonic hatchback a CUV before but this is the NEW GM, Sonic Hatchback-Like body it is! But it’s a tiny car, not enough room inside since this is going to be a Lyft URBAN (as GM really calls it) CUV, so aero is already bad enough who a few more .01 Cds? Let’s make the vehicle taller by raising the roof! Still not enough room, rather than striving to make the car’s MSRP $29,995 or even $34,995 to beat Tesla’s TM3, let’s spend tons of money maximizing the interior volume because that’s why people don’t buy EVs or the ICE Sonic hatchback, clearly lack of interior volume…Lastly… Read more »

@Bacardi
Your questions are easily answered. I’ve wondered myself:
Why did GM design such a superb power train and then stuff it into a small car like the BoltEV?

If GM was serious about selling lots of 258 mile pure BEV’s why didn’t they package it in a desirable body?

The answer is simple.

GM isn’t interested in selling lots of these cars. They would rather sell pick up trucks and large SUVs because they have a higher profit on those vehicles. It’s that simple.

In order to insure that they don’t have to sell many BoltEVs they stuffed a well engineered power train into a less desirable body. They did exactly the same thing on the Volt.

With this formula they have pretty much guaranteed that sales will be muted.

+258

Seriously?

Is that why Model X sucks in efficiency when it tows?

Putting this battery into a GM trucks/SUV would be lucky to get about 160 miles range while it has little to no towing capabilities.

Maybe you should learn to walk before running?

Bolt in mid sized truck / SUV platform won’t be 160 miles, but closer to 200 miles. While weight kills efficiency with gas cars due to friction brakes, EV will recover about 75% of energy, and more weight doesn’t affect it as much.

Aero on Bolt is poor, Cd probably about that of longer SUV. SUV area would be larger, so highway will suffer, but I guesstimate upper 100 to low 200. But even if you assume 160 miles, that’s 2 hours of driving on hwy, certainly very usable vehicle.

As for towing, that will affect the range significantly for large / long drives, maybe half the range (about 90 miles). That’s enough range to get to DCFC. Yeah, not as good, but if one’s saving money on gas with 100 MPG (or even 50 MPG) equivalent in regular driving, it could be attractive to many (most?) people. I’m basing that on Nissan Leaf drivers who get free charging wasting time at DCFC rather than charging at home.

With only CCS coverage, how appealing will that 160 miles SUV/Truck be to the general public?

GM has a better chance with a PHEV SUV/Truck.

Also, look at the E-Rav4 with Tesla powertrain and how much efficiency it gets…

41kWh gets about 103 miles of EPA range.

So, 60kWh battery would only get about 155 miles of range at best…

That isn’t enough range for any meaningful usage.

SUVs need more range as people buy it for “adventure” or “family hauling”. Both needs more range and more capacity even though they “might” only use it occasionally.

That is a problem that BEV SUV faces today.

You underestimate GM engineering. Bolt being heavier and larger, it’s more efficient than SparkEV and carbon fiber laden BMW i3 with half the battery. If GM put their mind to it, it will be far better than Rav4EV with Tesla tech from primitive days.

There’s no magic in EV. Take Bolt and apply / scale to SUV parameters, and it comes out far better than Rav4EV, and range would be close to 200 miles.

The RAV4 EV range from EPA is an average between 80% and 100% charge. ********************** Range at 65mph (100km ground speed) on dry, hard surface level road with no wind or cabin climate control with new condition battery at 70F, battery capacity is “useable” amount, not advertised amount. Ranges are at maximum available charge and EPA rating is the maximum published. Nissan LEAF – 4 miles per kWh (250 wattHours per mile) * 21.3kWh = 85.2 miles / EPA 84 Note: new LEAF with “30kWh” battery is estimated 26.5kWh usable / EPA 107 BMW i3 – 4.7 miles per kWh (213 wattHours per mile) * 18.8kWh = 89 miles (the “REx” version has less electric range) I3 “REx” (with gasoline engine) – 4.6 miles per kWh (217 wattHours per mile) * 18.8kWh = 86 miles minus reserve held for gasoline engine operation = 80 miles Kia Soul EV – 4 miles per kWh (250 wattHours per mile) * 27kWh = 108 miles / EPA 93 VW eGolf – 4.1 miles per kWh (244 wattHours per mile) * 24kWh = 100 miles GM / Chevrolet 2014 Spark EV – 5 miles per kWh (200 wattHours per mile) * 19kWh = 95miles… Read more »

Much Thanks, Tony — if anything deserves to be posted ad infinitum (as in NOT endless FUDiot-speak) it is this (efficiencies).

here is the simple answer to your questions: ev enthusiasts come on to forums, like this one, and write this, that and the other about electric vehicle…but they don’t buy a damn thing – including teslas! instead, what happens is that when a car in introduces, you get ev enthusiasts acting with one criticism after another as excuses for why they don’t want to buy one car or the other.

in the real world, no car is perfect; and that includes internal combustion cars. different people buy cars for different reasons and they live with any shortcomings of a given car as long as the car achieves fundamental utility to the owner. if not having an engine in a car is the most important consideration to you, you’re got choices; they may not be perfect, they never will be.

but in all likelihood, people like you will choose to continue to be critics instead of buyers. even for elon musk, fanboys are of little use to him if all you do is post fawning remarks about him on forums like this. the reason being that stuff isn’t free, and to stay in business, commercial enterprises have to sell their wares.

“no comment” ranted: “…people like you will choose to continue to be critics instead of buyers. even for elon musk, fanboys are of little use to him if all you do is post fawning remarks about him on forums like this.” I’m getting really sick and tired of the (fortunately rare) comments at InsideEVs displaying this attitude of entitlement; this attitude of “I’m better than you because I can afford an expensive new car, and you can’t”; as well as a snobbish and condescending attitude of “You don’t deserve to express an opinion if you either can’t afford a new EV, or are unable to drive one”. Tell us, “no comment”, when you hear someone say they are a fan of a certain sports team, do you tell them that they can’t be a “real” fan, and don’t deserve to express an opinion, unless they buy season tickets every year? That would be no more obnoxious than the snobbery you’re displaying here. You need to look at the title of this website. It’s “InsideEVs”. And if we look at the “About” page here, we see the following: “…we hope InsideEVs will be a valuable asset, and a regular stop along… Read more »

it’s one thing to use this forum to try to learn stuff. but it’s another thing to use this forum to be critics for the sake of criticism. i guarantee you that there are fanboys of the tesla model 3, even before they know what the car will be or when it will be available, who will turn into critics when they see the actual car. then they will offer excuses as to why they don’t want to buy one.

one of the problems that i see with commenters on insideevs is that there are too many critics, too few actual buyers, and suggestions tend to be of the techie fringe nature that has little appeal to the general market.

as to your sports team analogy: in major profession sports, the teams don’t make their money on ticket sales; they make more money on tv revenue and merchandising.

as to the value of actual ownership of a *ev: when you actually own an electric vehicle, you get insights that you don’t get when your primary source of information is insideevs.

a worthy reply, but unfortunately wasted – until self-aggrandizement stops being rewarded by replies, Malfoy will continue to offer ‘impressions’, stalking and support to parrot-speak amongst -always- CUTE anachronyms that amuse what’s left of his humanity.

You promote his belief that he is helping the planet in his purposefully impoverished self-view at your, and the site’s peril.

He is not real, he is a superior avatar of a very lonely, painfully introverted subhuman.

as a personal favor to the regulars, please do not appease the needy, attention-seeker(s).

Thank you.

(sarcasm)
I humby suggest, as a reply to any of Malfoy’s Obvious stalkings, the following:

(humbly)

— crickets —

You have some points including that there’s high odds the majority on this site have never owned an EV/PHEV…I owned a Gen2 Volt four months and sold it this past July due to not liking it…I could list the 2 dozen complaints I had but won’t waste my time…I have a TM3 on order and would love a Tesla X/S but neither will not work with my current living situation (cannot charge at home, no parking for a second car and I often go on driving trips which exceed all but the top trims range and I do not want to deal with supercharging)…I’ll probably sell my townhouse and buy a single family once the TM3 comes out and have room to park a vehicle, an ICE SUV…

“Questions to ponder… With your bias, the questions are stupid enough that anyone can answer them with obviously answers. “1. What if GM kept everything equal but put a Caddy LUXURY badge and sold it at Caddy dealers where they generally have more talented employees vs Chevy?” There are no evidence that caddy has more talent in dealers. With Caddy, the cost will be higher and there are less dealers. Less dealers mean less availability. More Caddy dealers rejected ELR than Chevy dealers that rejected Volt in terms of %. “2. What if instead of the Bolt, they just EV’ed the Equinox? Even if they could get 200, that satisfies the ZEV credits and people would prefer to have a real SUV…” Completely none sense. 1. It won’t get 200 miles without more battery. A Tesla powered E-Rav4 with 41kWh battery only got 103 miles of range. No way a heavier Equinox would get 200 miles with 50% more battery. 155 miles is probably the best case. Still NOT close enough. Nobody is going to drive 2 hours and stop for 1.25 hours to charge on long trips with CCS. “3. What if they put the powertrain into a sleek/sexy/low-aero… Read more »

The RAV4 EV with Tesla battery pack and powertrain had a 113 mile range when fully charged in ‘Extended’ charging mode. The 103 EPA rating was a mish-mash between the ‘Standard’ and ‘Extended’ modes. Standard charging didn’t fully charge the battery to extend it’s lifetime, and yielded a 91 mile range.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_RAV4_EV#Battery_and_range

Since you admitted to taking the troll bait… 1. Chevy salesmen are often hired off the street…Caddy salesmen are often poached from other dealerships…Dealerships weren’t the only ones “reject” the ELR, 99.99% of the world did mainly due to the excessively high MSRP…No shame in rejecting the model now and waiting a year before making major ELR service/equipment, that’s smart business…The fact remains many tout that an EV is a “LUXURY ride” due to the quiet, smooth, vibration free ride…Why not match that luxury with a luxury badge? I’ll share some irony, I live in superficial SoCal beach front where life is about looking good while surfing or playing volleyball…Compared to the summer of 2015, this year many of even the girls who were known for being conservative in the community started to wear thong bikinis…Every single one would not be caught dead in any vehicle that does not have a luxury badge…Oh the irony, global warming is causing girls to wear skimpier clothing…VBall and surfing with girls in thongs is far more fun for me than to hang out at a EV meetup and bitch about Prius drivers…There are far more effective ways to save the planet besides driving… Read more »
a few comments on this: 1. in marketing, there are concepts of brand management and product positioning. the bolt would no more fit into the cadillac brand than did the cimarron. the bolt is just the wrong kind of car for that brand. 2. there is a big difference between battery size in a *ev and grill size at a mcdonald’s. the issue with battery size, is that the bigger the battery, the longer the recharge time. so even if you reduce the cost/kWh for the battery, you’ve still got to address the operational problem of recharge time. if you tell people that they might have to wait around for 30-60 minutes to recharge a battery, a lot of people are going to say: “no thanks”. that’s why companies have been looking at fcev’s. 3. as to performance, getting performance in a bev is more time-expensive than it is in an ice. in an ice, you can blow through a tank with fuel-wasteful driving techniques and a refill is only 5 minutes. on the other hand, if you blow through the charge in a battery; you’re going to be waiting around for some time to recover the charge. the reason… Read more »

Before I give you more time to play your troll game, maybe you should learn the difference between kWh and kW first.

Since you repeat that multiple times, it isn’t obvious a mistake but a true lack of understanding of the issue.

So, learn the difference.

I think GM should have owned up to and recognized their legacy by naming the Bolt EV the EV3 (fight LEGO for the name if they have to). For every criticism with the EV1 that they admit they could also point to the pioneer nature of the car, and of all their efforts since for vehicle electrification. Their record may not be perfect, hell it is flawed as hell, but they are doing it and can affirm that they continue that instead of playing word games and throwing jibes at the competition. Let the brilliance of the engineering and their real commitment to EVs speak out.

I rather doubt that any executive or marketing rep at GM wants to remind the public of the public relations disaster that the EV1 turned into, when the cars were repossessed and crushed in an all too public manner.

EV3, absolutely. And Ford should name their 200 miler the E-dsel.

part of the marketing of a car is that automakers often spend quite of time trying to figure out what name to use for an automobile (often using focus groups, the whole bit…). a name like “ev3” would mean nothing to the vast majority of the public, so it’s not a name that would be useful from a marketing perspective.

SparkEV-Fiat500-Leased - M3 Reserved - Bolt- TBD

All us Spark EV folk are eager to see the lease #s. I’m sure it won’t be as sweet as what we’re riding now, and probably more inline with the Nissan Leaf lease deals.

If anything close to the Spark EV deals, we’d all over it–already contacted our local dealer with test drive request.

If Bolt gets us to the hatchback trunk we want for the dog, we’re golden — for our retriever!

The fact of the matter is that EV1 was the first Compliance car. Pure and Simple.

Killing compliance car when rules change is natural course of action.

But of course, the EV lunatic would always manage to find way to pin it to GM for killing the car while Toyota/Ford all did the same.

Just about all Compliance EVs that were “leased only” pretty much all end up with the same fate. Even the recent BMW 3-series E and Mini-E got the same fate.

Honda E-Fit will receive the same treatment.

But of course, we will pin it all to GM because a movie said so, it must be true.

Actually, Toyota sold the car to consumers, and got sued for $30M. For few Rav4EV they sold, it cost them a bundle. I wonder if GM would’ve been sued (and lose) had they sold EV1 to consumers.

US patent law is a minefield; innovation is in finding good lawyers, not in technology.

And they are legally on the hook to support the car for decades in term of parts.

Toyota got sued for patent infringement on the large format NiMH batteries in the original RAV4 EV, and lost a $30 million settlement.

GM never would have had that problem if they had stuck with the EV1 and NiMH batteries, because they owned those patent rights. Instead of sticking with EVs and a very solid battery, they sold that technology to Texaco who shut it down.

The second generation EV1 had a 26 kwh NiMH battery pack … Nissan has sold about 200,000 Leafs with smaller capacity packs.

Toyota happen to get sued for battery, but who knows what other bombs were waiting. That’s my point about GM and EV1 and patent land mine. In a way, GM going with CCS might’ve been a strategy to mitigate something like that, a bargaining chip if you will.

Really, US patent law is really f-ed up.

Will the Bolt be sold in all 50 states or just 11 states like they did with Volt Gen-2.
I expect GM to sell at least 1,000 units. And if another 1,000 units come from Prius Prime and another 500 from Ioniq Electric, that should add 2,500 to the scorecard.

“Will the Bolt be sold in all 50 states or just 11 states like they did with Volt Gen-2.”

You are spreading FUD.

Volt Gen2 is available in all 50 states. Its initial release is in limited states where Volt sales were the highest which correlates to mostly CARB states but VA wasn’t part of it even though it had the early Volt. So is Canada.

Bolt will be release in California first as it is the #1 EV state, no different from Tesla Model 3 launch plan.

Yup. Releasing any PEV (Plug-in EV) first in California, followed by other CARB compliance States, isn’t part of any vast anti-EV conspiracy. It’s just good business practice to sell it first where it will earn the company the most, and sell it elsewhere only when there is sufficient supply to expand the market beyond that.

For all the people saying you’ll be purchasing a Bolt and then mention you’re hoping for good lease rates make me cringe.

When you lease you’re not buying anything. All you’re doing is renting a car long term.

SparkEV-Fiat500-Leased - M3 Reserved - Bolt- TBD

If one has been in the EV market for the past years, one will understand that anything not names Tesla is best leased — not owned.

I’mwithher said:

“When you lease you’re not buying anything. All you’re doing is renting a car long term.”

But all auto makers count leases as “sales”. If auto makers are happy to count leases as sales, then why shouldn’t we?

For those who aren’t rich enough to buy a new car — and many or most of my friends are in that group — people leasing rather than buying is a good thing, since that gets the car into the used car market faster.

I don’t mean to insult anyone. Just a personal disdain is all.

I have over 36000 miles on a 2015 Spark EV. I drive over 96 miles on most days. The EPA range for the car, I believe, is 82 miles. I usually charge twice a day; but, I can get more than 96 miles on a single charge. Even though I live in an area without fast charging, I am delighted with the Spark EV. I look forward to the evolution of EV technology. Most of the EV drivers I know of are passionate about driving electric.

The EV1 was a large-scale engineering pilot, never a product (it was the only GM car that wasn’t assigned to any GM brand — it was “GM EV1”, not “Chevy EV1” etc.), which is why it was only leased. There was a good interview here on InsideEVs 3 years ago, with General Motors EV1 Marketing Director John Dabels. http://insideevs.com/insideevs-exclusive-interview-with-general-motors-ev1-marketing-director-john-dabels-part-1/ According to him, what killed the EV1 was competition with other GM divisions for resources, which I find much more believable than the conspiracy theories in the stupid, biased and outright lying conspiracy-theory movie. From the current article: “Wow! It was likely one of the biggest mistakes GM ever made (at least from a PR point of view as you still hear about that decision today)” Not really. There was still no market for EVs, esp. not a 2-seater with virtually no luggage space and NIMH batteries. There weren’t incentives at the time… The price would have had ot be horrendous (EVs _still_ aren’t mainstream, despite the fact we’ve had the i-MiEV, Volt, LEAF and Teslas for 5-6 years now… It’s take a few more years) GM could have kept the engineering pilot going longer, and maybe designed and conducted a… Read more »

The way that GM dealt with repossession and destruction of the EV1’s is what was, indeed, a very poor decision from the standpoint of public relations.

If GM had just politely requested that the cars be returned, and for those who wanted to keep them, had told the lessees “Well, you can extend the lease as long as you like at the same terms, but we’re no longer offering service or repair for the car, so you’ll have to make your own arrangements for that”; and if GM had taken the cars somewhere to crush them out of sight, with no cameras running to record the process…

If GM had handled it differently, if they had considered the reaction of ardent environmentalists and EV enthusiasts to repossession of the cars and crushing them within public view, then they could have avoided the public relations disaster, and likely wouldn’t have inspired the infamy of being cast as the villain in a documentary-cum-propaganda-film entitled “Who Killed the Electric Car?”