General Motors EV1 Electric Car and Citrus Waste Gasoline of the Future

This short series of reports includes news on General Motors marketing an electric car that operates independent of gasoline, but with a hefty price tag, and an alternative gasoline made of citrus waste.

| April/May 1996

  • 155-014-01-im1
    GM's silent EV1: No emissions, but a booming sticker price.

  • 155-014-01-im1

News briefs on General Motors new electric car that operates independent of gasoline, but the cost of the car has hefty price tag, and a new alternative gasoline made of citrus waste. 

General Motors EV1 Electric Car and Citrus Waste Gasoline of the Future

GM's silent EV1: No emissions, but a booming sticker price. 

When you hear about someone spending $25,000 on a car, you might dream for a moment of yourself behind the wheel of, say, a pale yellow convertible, your purebred retriever hanging his head out the back ...

Outside your fantasies, you're probably too practical to spend that kind of money on any car, but as long as we're fantasizing, what if you could get your hands on a car that comes with this guarantee: "You will never have to go to the gas station again." How much would you be willing to pay for that?

General Motors promises to be the first car company to mass-produce an electric vehicle that does indeed come with this guarantee and does indeed sell for $25,000. The EV1, or "Impact" (a name perhaps better replaced by one with less unfortunate connotations?), will be available this fall at Saturn dealers in four western cities: Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix, and Tucson. Like your pale yellow convertible, it's a two-seater, but EV1 is equipped with a double-lead battery that runs 70-90 miles per charge. GM says the electric car has power everything and comes with dual air bags, anti-lock brakes, a CD player, and cruise control and functions in all other ways like a regular car except it makes no noise and has zero emissions.

Lucy Zielinski, GM's electric vehicle spokesperson, says the EV1 will probably be most appropriate for households with two cars. People can use it for commuting and errands rather than road trips since you need to refuel (plug in) about three times as often as a conventional vehicle. You can carry a convenience charger in your trunk, "kind of like a spare tire," Zielinski says, which tops off the batteries in about eight hours, or accomplish the same at home in about three hours with a larger 220-volt charger.


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