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Home / History / GM’s EV1 Unveiled 17 Years Ago



General Motors unveiled its first purpose-built production electric car, the EV1, 17 years ago this January 4.

Although the car and GM deserve some kudos on this groundbreaking anniversary, the fact is that the car never was a winner for the American automaker. Folks in the late 90s just were not lining up for electric two-seaters possessing a single-range charge of 80 miles.

Made only to meet California’s pollution control regulations, the EV1 cost the automaker around $80,000 a pop to make although it sold for $35,000. As soon as the lawmakers in the Golden State lowered the standards, GM stopped production of its first electric car.


About the author: Andrew Greene


Now playing the role of grumpy old man in the foothills of Northern California’s Gold Country, Andrew has had a life-long love affair with vehicles of all sorts, from the bicycle he pedaled across the continent in 1991 to the armored personnel carriers he drove in the Army to the bamboo rafts, elephants, motorcycle taxis, ferries and buses he traveled by during the 13 years he lived and worked in South East Asia. Always eager to learn more about how the people of the world get from here to there in their day-today lives, he, a professional journalist, has been covering the vehicle industry for years.


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