EV-1: The Car that could have saved GM from Bankruptcy

Everyone who leased the all electric EV-1 from GM during it's pilot phase wanted to buy it when the lease was up, but GM told them no. The entire EV-1 line was to be scrapped.
http://www.generationev.com /
But who really killed the Electric Car?
http://www.whokilledtheelectriccar.com
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The power of wishful thinking! GM lost a HUGE amount of money on each EV-1. The "car that would have saved GM from bankruptcy" is more like the car that would have finished off GM at warp speed. And Mr. & Mrs. America would have been SO pleased with a vehicle that only held 2 people, needed a full day of recharging every 40 miles, and required a zillion-dollar battery pack every 10 years. Who killed the electric car? Common sense killed it.
DontSpamMe wrote:

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DontSpamMe wrote:

LOL, if more than a few hundred people had leased cars it might never have died.
I agree it was dumb for GM to take 'em back and scrap them though. It was as if GM were embarassed about the whole thing. Weird.
John
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Trust me, GM killed that car.
Mistake 1. They would not sell them. There are many people that will not lease a vehicle. I happen to be one of them. I hate to know that in x years I'll have to give a vehicle back. Not only that, I do not agree with a lot of the lease terms. When you buy a vehicle, you know exactly what it will cost and you can plan for it. When a lease is up, they hit you with all kinds of charges you had no idea you would have to pay.
Mistake 2. Advertising. The only ad I have seen was on the web, and it was bad. Advertise it like you WANT it to sell (or in this case lease) the cars.
Mistake 3. They only made 1134 of the things. Cost goes down with volume and "you can't sell (or in this case lease) from an empty wagon." Who is going to wait 2 years to get a car? When you go to a dealer and order a vehicle, it should be ready for pickup in less than 90 days and that is ONLY if you need something special built into the vehicle. There should at least be a demonstrator on the lot and that is only if they sold out last week and haven't gotten the new shipment in yet. I had one friend who went to get one, and was told it would not be available for 6 YEARS. That is no way to do business.
Mistake 4. Trying to use Delco batteries. Car starting batteries are not for deep-cycle applications. When they switched to the Panasonic lead-acid batteries, the range went up to 80 miles. That's 40 miles out and 40 back. That would cover MOST of the driving my wife and I do every week. Even at the 40 mile range, I could have covered 60% of my needs. But then I would have cheated and put a 5kW generator in the trunk. When I got where I was going, I would have started the generator and let it charge while I was not driving. Most people probably never would have thought of doing that.
Mistake 5. It was only available in California and parts of Arizona. I live in Texas. I never had a chance of getting one. I've been waiting for something like the EV1 since 1985. I'm seriously considering a GEM in spite of the fact it is only 25MPH. The range problem is NOT a problem for me.
Mistake 6. Not making a 5 place EV2. This would have interested more people, especially with kids to run around town. Not only that, but the cost of the most expensive thing in the car (the batteries) could have been spread over 2 models. We are back to "with volume, individual costs go down."
Mistake 7. Building the recharging infrastructure themselves. That is not the business of car manufacturers. For the people who wanted to take an EV1 on a long trip, make plans. The best way is to pack a generator. Pull into a gas station and ask if they have an EV fast charge station. If not, buy 1 gallon of gas and park in their gas station away from the pumps and recharge from your generator until it's empty. You wanted to use the bathroom and get a snack anyway, right? It would not take long for the gas stations to install fast chargers when they realized they were losing money
I could keep ranting, but what's the use? If I had 50,000 5 place BEVs with the EV1's speed and 80 mile range today, I could sell them all in less that one year. Even as a 2 seater, I bet I could sell 10,000. I know your going to say "This is five years later and gas is $3.00", but in 1995 it didn't cost 60 cent equivalent gas to recharge either. It was only 40 cents to recharge and gas was $1.00.
William
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They leased them for what? Like $350/mon with a $20K buyout and STILL couldn't make money? Oh and they also 'roll' the $8 million R&D costs into the 1100 units? What car company does THAT?
Could have leased them for $600/month easily. I think the Chinese could make those number work. LOL
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In the newspaper yesterday there was a movie review. Yes, there is a move about the car. Got a good rating FWIW.
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Some of the real world lease numbers were closer to $500./month. There was no buyout. That's where part of their losses occured. They crushed them.
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And one reason they crushed them is that, if they had not, it would have cost them millions in taxes and R&D funds GM would have had to refund to the Federal Government. The project was done as an experimental R&D project partially funded by the U.S Dept. of Transportation. The number I heard was that the blowback to the Feds would have been in excess of $20 Million.
Regards, Bill Bowen Sacramento, CA
P.S. The University of California Police Dept. had 2 of the EV1s in San Francisco in 1998-99: they where used for parking lot patrol and parking enforcement. As a UC employee at that time I got a chance to drive one and I was impressed with it.
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was
them.
Of course they would have had to pay taxes. They could not have written off the business loss if they didn't have one. Are you saying that businesses in the US should not make a profit so they don't have to pay taxes?
As for the Government money given to them for the project, what is the source of your information that they would have had to pay it back?
William Dryden
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Bill,
I was told this by the Assets Manager at UC when we had to turn the cars back in. UC had inquired about a buyout, since the EV1 was perfect (even with its limitations) for the use we had put it to. I've also seen this info mentioned in a couple of articles regarding the EV1 but cannot cite chapter and verse. If I get time this week I'll research it and see if I can find the citations.
My understanding is that the entire EV1 project was an experimental engineering project to get a few vehicles out into the "real world" for testing.
Regards, Bill Bowen Sacramento, CA
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STILL
costs
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off
businesses
Don't bother, If it came from your Assets Manager and your memory is any good, it's probably correct. The numbers still do not add up. If you just count the 800 vehicles GM admits to having on lease, I bet they could have set a $30,000. butout and had all of the vehicles gone. That is $24 million, $4 Million more than whatt you say they would have had to pay back. Not only that, they still had 337 cars they had been using as upgrade replacements they could have sold as well.
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On Mon, 17 Jul 2006 06:40:22 GMT, "William Dryden"

That seems to be GM's current practice.
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It was experimental, to test the technology not user desire to buy. Would those who wanted to buy them being willing to pay the real cost?
Too bad GM didn't make a basic Yaris sized electric car. It may have sold, but most car companies put most of their effort into too large. too expensive, mostly unnecessary vehicles.
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