Thursday, June 29, 2006

The EV1, cont.

Regulars will remember the depressing story of the EV1, the electric car GM made and later killed when the legal requirement it fulfilled was removed.

There's a new documentary coming out called "Who Killed The Electric Car?", and so the EV1 - beloved by its owners, hated by the oil industry (and to a lesser extent, GM itself) - is being revisited. My latest post at Gristmill is about a bizarre quote from the head of Rick Wagoner, who now says that cancelling the EV1 was his worst decision as head of GM. To quote myself:
What's truly upsetting is that by Wagoner's own admission here, cutting the EV1 didn't affect profitability. If Wagoner is to be believed, GM would have been no worse off today (admittedly, no great shakes there) if they'd kept the EV1 going.


People tend to call us paranoid when we suggest that GM killed its own revolutionary design in a gross act of corporate malfeasance -- collusion with oil companies and a fear of obsolescence. It may be just a slip of the tongue, but if Wagoner means what he says, then the conventional explanation -- the EV1 was a money loser -- just became inoperative.
An additional note - that I didn't put in the Gristmill post - is that in 1998, GM was exhibiting a hybrid variant of the EV1 in auto shows that got 80+ mpg, which would have made it the most efficient car in the world, even today.

When GM is bought up by Toyota and sold for scrap, I hope someone remembers that.

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