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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
That's the motto on a poster displayed at the GM Training Center in Burbank, California. Protesters have spent the last month opposing the crushing by GM of the 1000 or so EV-1s formerly leased to drivers.



The EV-1 was a valiant effort, a tough sell to the GM corporate suits at the time, and one that showed courage and, forgive the pun, insight. But the mindset there has retrenched to "Oh well, we tried; now let's sell more SUVs."
 

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Not really. GM is taking their losses and running as the American buying public had almost a zero interest in the EV's However they will jump on the bandwagon now that they've found there is a hybrid market. You'll be able to purchase quite a few of their models equipped with hybrid power in 2007. They are still "bean counters" "as GM goes!"
 

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Thank you KTPhil, I was wondering what had happened to EV program. I once test drove one on a GM test track. I thought it was surprisingly good. I thought I would buy one if they were not lease only.
 

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Someone missed the news releases in January that the R&D depts of Chrysler/Mercedes, Ford and GM had joined forces for the rapid developement of viable Hybrids for all their 2007 models thus skipping the licensing right problems. They will develop what the market will buy. Our government in it's wisdom?? and dependency on the oil economy intentionally left the loophole for trucks and milage and enviremental standards. Obviously the American buyer WANTED this type of vehicle as even the Japanese manufacturers are in on the act.

The American buyer who has little regard for the price of gas still continues with the SUV's. Maybe at a reduced volume but what got the american buyer interested in high milage small Japanese cars in the seventies was the shortage of fuel and not the price. You could not even plan on a successfull drive from Boston to Washington DC without carrying about ten gallons of gas with you in your trunk.

What would get the American buyer back in high milage cars would be gas ratrioning again to go along with a gas shortage. Americans seem to be content today to purchase anything you can get with a credit card. Someday, the credit bubble will burst.
 

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hyperion said:
Not really. GM is taking their losses and running as the American buying public had almost a zero interest in the EV's
That is nonsense. There was low interest because they were never offered for sale. Only lease.

I don't lease things. I buy them. I tried to get GM to sell me an EV1. Sorry, no dice. We will only let you drive it around, give us money every month and then give it back to us later.

I was not alone in this.

Now they have taken the lease returns, and they still won't sell them!

Would you be driving a Prius if you were only allowed to rent it?
 

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The way I read it, the lease business now accounts for a third of the auto market. And personally I wouldn't own a Prius if I wasn't so darn curious.
Actually, do you know anyone that took the EV as "serious" auto transportation? Electric mass transit that So. Cal had fifty years ago makes much more sense. If you are going to have one auto in your garage it sure wasn't going to be an EV.
 

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I too wanted to "buy" an EV1, while refusing to lease it. I was "on the list" if GM evey changed their minds about leasing, and I hate GM products. I refuse to lease. A few years ago Ford bought out Think, a European elecetric car company -- I want to say Sweedish or Dutch. At the time they made several vehicles, one was open air (think golf cart like) with just a roof, they then had a small enclosed version (very small, with plastic body panels, a delivery van, and they also made electric busses and such for commercial use. I went to my local Ford dealer, who was Think approved and wanted to get the small enclosed one. Ford was only importing the open air golf cart one. They tried very hard to sell that to me, but even in CA, it rains occassionally and I wanted a car, not a golf cart. I left my name an number, for the enclosed one, called the "City." They even already had the American brochures printed up. They were supposed to be in in about 6 - 8 mos. It was to be a 2nd car for my wife and I, my commute was only about 15 miles, so I would have been fine. Ford instead pulled the plug on the whole project. Citing lack of interest, they closed the entire company. There was never any advertising - that I saw anyway, and they also only offered the open air version for sale -- which wasn't highway legal. And closed the entire project based on that. Same thing with the EV1, let's take a project we really don't want, and that admittedly has a narrow market, and further limit the appeal. I am not saying either would outsell the Explorer, but when you don't advertise an entirely new product, then you hamper it with lease only or non weatherproof -- you can't really measure the support accurately. The fact that there are people taking time out of their lives to camp out to save the EV1 tells me there is some demand. And they aren't even asking GM to make more, although I would hope they would, they are just asking them to sell the ones they have. GM would rather crush them. In Ford's case, when a company made a bid to purchase Think from them with the rights to all the vehicles including the right to sell the City in the US, Ford refused. Would rather bury the company than sell off its assets??? Why? You, as a company, have decided this doesn't work for you, why not recover part of your loss? I am not a paranoia freak, but maybe so someone else could not prove that the idea/concept has potential? It just needs the right engine (pun intended) behind it.
If the EV2 or 3 was availible now, I would seriously consider getting one for a second car -- keeping the Prius for long trips. My wife's commute isn't even a mile now, so an electric car would be fine for the days she doesn't walk. The limitation would have no affect when running errands, 100 miles is more than I need to go to the grocery store, Costco, and Home Depot.

Spike
 

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I suspect Spike that you live in the LA area since as far as I've been able to determine there are no charging stations anywhere else in the US. Probably the world. The EV's were like putting your toe into the water to see how cold it is. Give GM the kudos to have at least made the attempt that no other major car manufacturer in the world would. Keeping any of the things on the road would cost GM big bucks. I believe federal law is explicit on the number of years a manufacturer has to keep parts and service available. GM is not the bad guy here. I hate to see it badmouthed. As GM goes, so goes the US economy and everyones ability to make enough money to buy whatever make and model car he desires. And before everyone starts hollering Mexico and Canada the statement still stands. What few products made in the US are still the best in the world, and I generally seek them out. In the same price range I'll stack my Buick along side any German or Japanese car made.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It's market was limited, but very devoted. Those who had to drive a long commute couldn't use it, since it didn't have the range. It had to be a second (or third) vehicle, since it couldn't haul anything or take a long trip. It was primarily an urban commuter vehicle. However, for that application it was the perfect vehicle. The real shame is that there was no follow-up engineering; GM treated it like a dead-end design.

I wonder what happened at GM? 15 years ago they were a technology company pushing the envelope. They bought Hughes Aircraft (electronics, not aircraft), built the SunRaycer and the EV-1. The Saturn held hope of not falling prey to "GM-itus" and there was hope it woud spread to the rest of the divisions.

Then what? They killed the EV-1, gave up on pony cars, bragged about less-than-average quality, and bet the farm on hydrogen fuel cells, which will probably overtax our fragile electrical grid system if used nationwide. Can you imagine millions of commuters stuck because some dipshit at Enron decided to "blackout a few more grandmothers in California"?

And now Toyota is gunning for them.
 

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hyperion said:
I suspect Spike that you live in the LA area since as far as I've been able to determine there are no charging stations anywhere else in the US. Probably the world.
Why do you need charging stations? You don't have electricity in your house?

Personally I rarely (not never, but rarely) drive for more than 100 miles without stopping at my house for at least six hours.

A 100 mile range and 110 volt recharging would do a large number of people a lot of good.

Stick a gasoline generator on a trailer and rent it from hertz for longer trips. Or just rent a car if you are going away for a couple days.

GM offered electrics very badly. They either did it stupidly or with malice. I don't know which.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The EV-1 was charged by inserting an inductive "paddle" into a slot in the hood. Home charging stations were available from GM as part of the lease arrangement. Many large companies also installed them, effectively doubling their daily range.
 

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KTPhil said:
The EV-1 was charged by inserting an inductive "paddle" into a slot in the hood. Home charging stations were available from GM as part of the lease arrangement. Many large companies also installed them, effectively doubling their daily range.
That still limits your recharging options. Why not recharge from any where with a 110v 15amp outlet?
 

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KTPhil said:
I'm not sure, but I think it required a 220V outlet, at least 20A.
No, it required a special, custom, hardwired charger. You could not connect to any sort of standard outlet.

Marketing driven design.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I think we're both right... since most don't have 220 outlets in the garage (and if they do, for example for a HD clothes dryer, a separate outlet would be needed for the charger, since it takes a lot of juice!), it had to be a special install by a licensed electrician. And it used the inductive paddle (great for safety) which means you never could simply plug the car into a 220V outlet, but rather the charger used 220V as a source. Some houses didn't have the capacity in their breaker box.

I see signs for EV charging stations along some freeway offramps, but I never searched for the site itself. I guess they will all disappear soon.
 

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What the heck is the matter of admitting it was a foolish idea. As yet the tech is not there practically. Lots of designs but nothing affordable that works. Just a hundred or so web sites. Keeps the juices rolling. Only way a battery powered car will have any normal use is if it is powered also with the "ICE" and we have a good example now. A great little car but certainly not one I would like to take 1800 mile trips in. The car is able but my body is not. Give me that new Buick with the electrically powered and heated leather seats, fully instrumated with the completely adjustable steering wheel. GM made the EV's when no one else would to test the waters and they failed but at least tried.
 

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Nope, never lived in LaLa land, only been there to visit once. Not a big fan. At least one local Costco has EV only parking, with built in charging stations, second in locatlity only to the handicapped spaces, but before motorcycle spaces... And one of the many colleges I attended, had EV charging stations in some of its car lots. The use of the charger was free, the parking spots were again second best, and you didn't have to pay to park, unlike the other spots.
You have to remember that there are companies out there, that will convert practically any vehicle to an EV vehicle. Just not with the warranty and stuff you would get from a large auto manufacturer, never mind economies of scale, and user support after the conversion. Also remember Honda offered an electric for a brief period, UGLY little box, and even Toyota offered for a day or two an electric only version of the Rav 4. Heck, when I bought my house last year, there was/is a 220 hoock up in the garage for an electric vehicle hookup.
And I don't think it is a foolish idea, I just think it has been poorly executed.
And you can sit your Buick next to anything, 'cause it certainly can't stand up to them. ;-) All it can do is sit down, roll over and play dead.
Spike
 

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Univ. of Miami is offering 50% Hybrid Disc. on Parking Fees

The University of Miami Student Government has arranged for 50% discount on parking fees for qualified Hybrid cars starting this August.

"Sun-Sentinel News Posted March 14 2005

In a small green gesture for car-conscious South Florida, the University of Miami is ready to reward students for driving hybrids.

Starting in August, some hybrid-driving students, professors and staff can shave off 50 percent of their parking permit price, which can run up to $352 per year."

"At UM, hybrids number only "in the dozens" among 12,000 student, staff and faculty vehicles, said transportation director Chuck McConnell. The discount will apply only to hybrids with federal mileage ratings of at least 29 mpg, to underscore the project's ecological point."

At least this gesture is a start, as some state governments are looking at >penalizing< vehicles that get better gas mileage, and HOV lanes are restricting single-driver Hybrid usage.

Happy 2003 Aqua Prius 30K (soon to be 2005 Prius 0k) Owners
Happy 2005 Silver Prius 7k Owners
 

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KTPhil said:
I think we're both right... since most don't have 220 outlets in the garage (and if they do, for example for a HD clothes dryer, a separate outlet would be needed for the charger, since it takes a lot of juice!), it had to be a special install by a licensed electrician. And it used the inductive paddle (great for safety) which means you never could simply plug the car into a 220V outlet, but rather the charger used 220V as a source. Some houses didn't have the capacity in their breaker box.

I see signs for EV charging stations along some freeway offramps, but I never searched for the site itself. I guess they will all disappear soon.
That is possible. Perhaps a dedicated outlet was required by the charger GM supplied.

I maintain that GM could have provided a safer but slower and more universal 110 volt charger for home use. This is how the EV hobbyists do it. (Often the hobbyists have a 110v charger built into the car and a fast 220v at home.)

110 volt is available everywhere in the US. No infrastructure needed. Any accessible outlet could be used for charging. Throw a fifty foot extension cord in your trunk and charge up anywhere.

Designing a new way to plug the cars in created a barrier.

Only leasing created a barrier.

Neither of these was required. We were allowed to buy our Prii. We can fill them at any gas pump. No barriers.
 
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