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I was stuck in Washington DC last Friday so I poked my head into the American History museum and saw the EV-1. Thought I would share because it is such a classic. I always thought of this car as an engineering tour-de-force.

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I was stuck in Washington DC last Friday so I poked my head into the American History museum and saw the EV-1. Thought I would share because it is such a classic. I always thought of this car as an engineering tour-de-force.

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I attended the NDEW event at DeAnza College in Cupertino on 9/16. Besides the display of EVs, there were information booths from solar, health, EVSE manufacturers/installers, EV manufacturers [Nissan, BMW], electric bicycles, and other groups. The weather was great, with temperatures in the 70s and some cloud cover. However, my impression is that the attendance was not as good as in past years.

There were the usual modern EVs – LEAF [2018 pre-production was on display but not for test drive], Tesla MS, MX [no M3], BMWi3, GM Volt, Bolt, Sparrow, Rav4, plus others. Also on display were some old timers, such as a red 1997 EV1 [from Sacramento museum] and 1916 Detroit Electric model 60 [from San Jose mueum]. The Detroit Electric EV had a top speed on 25 mph, powered by 14-6 V Pb-acid batteries, and the original selling price was $2275. It had a range of 70-100 miles. These early EVs served two distinct markets: doctors needing an easy-to- start, reliable vehicle and women who disliked hand-cranking gasoline engines. The demise of the early EVs by the end of the 1920s occurred because of factors such as the electric starter, availability of gas and cost – electrics cost about 4X that of mass-produced gas-powered $600 model T Ford.
 

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I attended the NDEW event at DeAnza College in Cupertino on 9/16. Besides the display of EVs, there were information booths from solar, health, EVSE manufacturers/installers, EV manufacturers [Nissan, BMW], electric bicycles, and other groups. The weather was great, with temperatures in the 70s and some cloud cover. However, my impression is that the attendance was not as good as in past years.

There were the usual modern EVs – LEAF [2018 pre-production was on display but not for test drive], Tesla MS, MX [no M3], BMWi3, GM Volt, Bolt, Sparrow, Rav4, plus others. Also on display were some old timers, such as a red 1997 EV1 [from Sacramento museum] and 1916 Detroit Electric model 60 [from San Jose mueum]. The Detroit Electric EV had a top speed on 25 mph, powered by 14-6 V Pb-acid batteries, and the original selling price was $2275. It had a range of 70-100 miles. These early EVs served two distinct markets: doctors needing an easy-to- start, reliable vehicle and women who disliked hang-cranking gasoline engines. The demise of the early EVs by the end of the 1920s occurred because of factors such as the electric starter, availability of gas and cost – electrics cost about 4X that of mass-produced gas-powered $600 model T Ford.
https://electrek.co/2015/12/29/jay-leno-is-restomodding-a-1914-detroit-electric-car-video/

Leno bought the body of a 1914 Detroit Electric car and he is restoring it while upgrading its electric drivetrain, which he calls “restomodding” – a combination of “restoration” and “modding”.

For the restoration/modification, Leno is using batteries from a Nissan LEAF and a UQM electric motor.

 

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It's interesting that one of the things that helped the demise of EVs way back when was an electric motor, the self starter.
 

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I was stuck in Washington DC last Friday so I poked my head into the American History museum and saw the EV-1. Thought I would share because it is such a classic. I always thought of this car as an engineering tour-de-force.
Cars like the EV1 didn't do much other than show how much a majority of people don't want that style of car. Manufacturers totally miss that if you want to sell an EV, you need to make something stylish and desirable. Tesla nailed this. Most of the other manufacturers still haven't figured this out.

Look at the Bolt EV, I love it, but not a popular style in the US, but GM pulled out of a lot of markets in which it would sell very well. Poor timingnon that one.

I have nothing against the EV1, as an engineer's pet project, but GM was crazy to think that it could be the future of the automobile.
 

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I was stuck in Washington DC last Friday so I poked my head into the American History museum and saw the EV-1. Thought I would share because it is such a classic. I always thought of this car as an engineering tour-de-force.
Amazing feat of American engineering.
Cd of 0.19.
 

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Cars like the EV1 didn't do much other than show how much a majority of people don't want that style of car. Manufacturers totally miss that if you want to sell an EV, you need to make something stylish and desirable. Tesla nailed this. Most of the other manufacturers still haven't figured this out.

Look at the Bolt EV, I love it, but not a popular style in the US, but GM pulled out of a lot of markets in which it would sell very well. Poor timingnon that one.

I have nothing against the EV1, as an engineer's pet project, but GM was crazy to think that it could be the future of the automobile.
Yup, and Nissan, Toyota, and BMW (i3) seem to think electric cars need to look fugly. Put something like the Tesla drivetrain into a vette, Silverado, Suburban, or Equinox please. Make a Malibu or Impala PHEV or EV as the Bolt and volt are too small for most of us. The Ford Fusion energi is close, so are the Volvo XC90, Audi eTron, BMW activeHybrids - they just need more range.

Teslas have their own warts too. The model S had a spartan interior with little storage. The falcon wing doors are a problem with snow, rain, ice, and alignment. Having all-glass roofs in all the Tesla's seems dangerous to me, plus on a really sunny day, my wife reaches for the sun shade in our regular cars, no matter how dark the tint, I don't think we'd enjoy the glass long term. Though I haven't sat in one yet, the model 3 seems too small, not having a hatchback makes the trunk less useful, and I don't think the frunk makes up enough for that. Why Tesla couldn't use the model S platform to slap on 3 or 4 different body styles on the exact platform (sedan, wagon, coupe, SUV/CUV) with the exact same front body panels and interior parts rather than seemingly starting over with each model is beyond me. GM did it with the CTS and SRX, sharing dashboards and drivetrains between the sedan and the CUV. Subaru went one futher taking the Impreza wagon and adding a lift kit to make the CrossTrek. I miss the days when you'd take the Impala frame, redesign it into a 2 door, and get the Monte Carlo (chrysler had the New Yorker/Córdoba, Ford had the Galaxy 500 and Grand Turino)
 

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The 2018 LEAF is stealing a page from Tesla's playbook. Doesn't look legal but a young man thinks he can use the trunk for another passenger. LOL.
Maybe he's an Alex on Autos fan.
 

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Cars like the EV1 didn't do much other than show how much a majority of people don't want that style of car. Manufacturers totally miss that if you want to sell an EV, you need to make something stylish and desirable. Tesla nailed this. Most of the
No offense but what does that have to do with the EV1?

The fact you had to write a long essay and go through several interviews proving your reasons, worthiness and ability to market the car before going before a board that evaluated your worth to society before you could lease the car

Might have possibly had more to do with it not selling like hot cakes.
 

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No offense but what does that have to do with the EV1?

The fact you had to write a long essay and go through several interviews proving your reasons, worthiness and ability to market the car before going before a board that evaluated your worth to society before you could lease the car

Might have possibly had more to do with it not selling like hot cakes.
The EV1 looked goofy. When car manufacturers realize that you don't have to give electric cars some strange look to be electric, then it might be accepted by the population at large.
 

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... Subaru went one futher taking the Impreza wagon and adding a lift kit to make the CrossTrek. I miss the days when you'd take the Impala frame, redesign it into a 2 door, and get the Monte Carlo (chrysler had the New Yorker/Córdoba, Ford had the Galaxy 500 and Grand Turino)
You're showing your age, or lack of it. Subaru got the crossover thing started years ago with the Outback based on the Legacy wagon, but AMC had gotten there first. The Monte Carlo was a Malibu variant, and the Galaxy and Torino, and New Yorker and Cordoba, were likewise full and mid-sized models not otherwise related to each other.
 

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You're showing your age, or lack of it. Subaru got the crossover thing started years ago with the Outback based on the Legacy wagon, but AMC had gotten there first. The Monte Carlo was a Malibu variant, and the Galaxy and Torino, and New Yorker and Cordoba, were likewise full and mid-sized models not otherwise related to each other.
Ok well I won't get this one wrong, the coupe Deville was the 2 door version of the Sedan Deville. Then for some reason Cadillac stopped making the Coupe Deville and made an El Dorado.

There is a slight difference between what AMC did and what Subaru is doing. AMC changed a 2WD vehicle into a 4WD one by adding the lift kit. The Impreza and crosstrek are both AWD. When I was a kid, I so wanted a red AMC Eagle wagon. Later around college time, I wanted an Eagle Talon. Never got either. Sadly, what 2 door coupes are available nowadays. Cadillac seems to continue to make coupes, but I think the Monte Carlo is gone, I'm not sure if Ford is still making the thunderbird. The BRZ nad F86 would have been nice, except I hate the back side windows. It would look much sleeker if it had a simple taper like the mustang or GT-R. Then there's the Camaro, Challenger, and Vette. I'd like more choices in coupes and wish you could still buy a new ELR.
 

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There's an EV1 in the collection at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn Michigan, and they have great photos on their website. https://www.thehenryford.org/collec...-collections/artifact/326534/#slide=gs-215564
I've seen that one and my first impression was "it's obvious why it wasn't a mass market project". Weird styling, 2 person car, the right battery technology didn't exist. Sure there are a few thousand EV enthusiasts who would buy/lease it but after those, nada. Gas was 90 cents/gallon and my friends were buying Suburbans with 7.4 L gassers.
 

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I've seen that one and my first impression was "it's obvious why it wasn't a mass market project". Weird styling, 2 person car, the right battery technology didn't exist. Sure there are a few thousand EV enthusiasts who would buy/lease it but after those, nada. Gas was 90 cents/gallon and my friends were buying Suburbans with 7.4 L gassers.
You couldn't buy them. The only option was to lease one. I think this was how GM got around the requirement to provide parts for at least 10 years after manufacturing them.
 

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You couldn't buy them. The only option was to lease one. I think this was how GM got around the requirement to provide parts for at least 10 years after manufacturing them.
I believe the 10 year parts availability was for imported cars. I've had a couple of GM cars where the parts were being dropped a few years after they went out of production.
 

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Apparently GM was fairly picky about who they would lease a EV1 to. If you were a celebrity, no problem. I remember occasionally seeing them around Silicon Valley. Especially parked out front of Frys - where they had, and still do have, a couple of charging stations. The EV1 at the Cupertino event came from the California Auto Museum in Sacramento. I took a bunch of pictures of it too.

Also present, just across the aisle from the EV1, was the 1916 Detroit Electric (see linkims photo upthread). Next to it was a 1905 Studebaker Electric. I've seen the Detroit Electric a number of times, as it lives in the trolley barn at the San Jose Historical Park. The interior is original and definitely shows it. Exterior seems in great shape - so I'd imagine it has been repainted. There was no indication of who owned the Studebaker. It was a beautiful restoration.
 
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