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December 30, 2006

GM, Bring back the Electric Car

Categories Cars 

Since seeing Who Killed the Electric Car?, a film that focused on the demise of GM's electric car, the EV-1, I've been left with one single question: Why doesn't GM just bring it back? GM is on the verge of their 100 year anniversary, and I'm sure they're hoping to be around another 100 years. Do they honestly think in the next 100 years they'll never release an electric car? I'd be shocked if there isn't another GM electric car in the next 15 yeas. They should just bring back the EV-1 and get it over with. After all reviving an innovative product that inspired some of the most astonishing customer loyalty imaginable could be exactly what the company needs.

But it probably won't, because one thing I learned from Who Killed the Electric Car?, is that while GM engineers may be top notch, GM as a company lacks imagination and confidence in customers. While watching the film, I found myself looking at GM not so much as the villain who intentionally killed the EV-1 but the victim of it's own stupidity. Essentially, they sat on technology that could have leapfroged hybrids, and instead pushed gas-guzzlers like the Hummer which are now suffering from public backlash. Well now they're paying for it, I wish I could feel sorry for a giant corporation that fails to understand the virtues of their own product.


I haven't seen this documentary, but there was a piece in the Times about the Detroit auto show over the weekend, and aparently GM unveiled some sort of new super-hybrid that uses the electric almost exclusively and only relies on the gas engine for recharging the battery. This means 1) 100 something miles to the gallon and 2) it can run for 40 miles without gas.

Yes, I think I've heard about that too. It's called the Chevy Volt. Details are still a little sparse, but look for a entry on it soon.

Yeah I definately need to dig up some info on the Chevy Volt. It's really interesting stuff...

I too think that GM should re-issue the EV1, as its' design has been proven. I would buy one. The volt which is a plug in hybrid has a gas engine which has many parts that wear out. I would rather have an electric, and less service calls. The EV1 on todays battery technology could easily run for 200 miles on one charge. So why isn't GM changing their strategy when they are going broke?

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