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The General Motors EV1

General Motors EV1

This was the first modern production electric vehicle from a major automaker; it was introduced in late 1996 as a 1997 model. It was available for lease only at Saturn retailers in certain parts of the country. The EV1 website had lots of specs, diagrams, and pictures of much better quality than I'm able to shoot, and a lot of the lessees formed a very enthusiastic and vocal EV1 Club. Only 1997 and 1999 models were made, though vehicles that came off their initial leases were refurbished and upgraded, then re-leased; leases stopped being renewed in around 2001, and the last ones ran out in 2003 or 2004.

As of September 2004, the EV1 website at gmev.com had disappeared, but it is archived in several versions at the Wayback Machine, and there's a complete copy of a late version here. When the original site disappeared, the URL was redirected to point to a general alternative-fuel portion of the GM website. Then in June 2006, the URL was redirected again to point to a posting on a GM blog defending GM's crushing of the EV1s; I wrote a detailed rebuttal on this website. After the introduction of the Chevrolet Volt concept car at the 2007 Detroit Auto Show, the URL was redirected yet again to point to the the Volt webpage.

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new 4 July 1998, revised 20 January 2007