The General Motors EV1 will remain one of the most peculiar programs in modern motoring history. Much capital and development went into creating the EV1, but GM would only lease the car through select Saturn dealerships in California and Arizona. In the end, the automaker rounded up all but one EV1 and sent them to the crusher, still a controversial topic all these years later.
MotorWeek has reached back into its archives again to provide us with a retro review from 1997 of the EV1, where we see some great video of the car in action, and its plain excellent practicality. All the pieces were nearly in place to create a true mass-production electric vehicle, but the EV1 was gone much too soon.
Some cool, quirky highlights include punching in an ignition code rather than using a key to start the car, and a charge time of around three hours to gain all 70 to 100 miles of electric driving. That range rivals the modern Nissan Leaf, by the way.
The EV1 accomplished its range through 26 lead-acid batteries, which had to be replaced every 450 charges. Though, the electric motors created a fairly respectable 137 hp.
So, here’s to the early days, though, we think the 2016 Chevrolet Volt does the EV1 proud.