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GM EV1 WWU Resurrection

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Revision as of 19:55, 23 December 2007 by Rjf (talk | contribs) (Undo revision 7488 by (Talk), fixed in content of previous post..)
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Is this a new aerodynamic version of the Chevy Volt? No, It's the decade old GM EV1!

Of the original 1115 GM EV1s only 40 or so still exist. These were severely disabled by GM and given to universities and museums. A few more may still exist as part of GM's fool cell research projects. In Early December of 2007 one of them was resurrected, making its first public appearance Dec 8th at Renewable L.A., and then a few days later at the Seattle chapter of the Electric Auto Association's monthly meeting on December 11th.

The 1997 PbA (Lead Acid) EV1 was reanimated by university faculty, students, EV Bones, and Pv's donated Tech2 scanner! Mike, a retired instructor made sure to mention that the car was a part of their ongoing Hybrid project as GM stipulated that the EV1 must not be used as an EV as part of their agreement when donating it to the school.

YouTube Videos

Enjoy this collection of videos, just in time for the holidays! The last three are from the SEVA meeting (left to right then top to bottom).

More Links

GM Reacts

GM contacted WWU reminding them of the agreement they signed when they received the non working EV1. GM was upset and said their contract had been breached and that the YouTube videos made them look bad, part of the agreement was not to mar GMs image. GM says that the EV1s are not to be driven on on public or private roads. GM may already be pursuing legal action against the University of Madison Wisconsin who also restored their EV1 back in ?2005 <ref>University of Madison Wisconsin Reincarnates it's EV1: Citations needed, it's odd though that there is no mention of the vehicle anywhere, but the video doesn't lie.

No word on whether GM contacted Brigham Young University who has a a supercap-powered EV1 which was run in very public settings at drag strips around the country <ref>Add links to the BYU EV1 drag races and articles.</ref>. Missouri-Rolla also has an EV-1, who else, is there a list somewhere? --Rjf 22:35, 20 December 2007 (CST)

False YouTube Comment

RJF wrote (2007.12.18): As of 2007.12.21 it appears that the initial assertion of a cease and desist order was false.

Have you seen the recent comment added to the "EV1 On The Road!" video regarding the EV1 restoration posted by "wasityou"?
lisaBham (2007.12.17)
Actually... GM just sent the university a cease and desist order. :-(
When I asked "lisaBham" about the comment I got this reply:
My dad is Mike Seal (Founder and former director of the VRI, and team leader on the university's EV1 project)
To which I replied:
Well shucks, that's a bummer. But what exactly do they want the school to "cease and desist"? Isn't this just a step towards turning the car into a hybrid? Wasn't that the original purpose of the donation of the vehicle?
lisaBham replied:
Yes, but I guess it's for the lawyers to sort out now. School isn't in session now, so nothing has been decided yet.

GM quotes on EVDL

Dan from the EVDL writes (2007.12.21, 8am):

Chris Preuss (GM) didn't know anything about any legal reactions but asked a coworker Dave Barthmuss to comment and he wrote me this:
  • "No legal threats at all. I know what our reaction was to the Western Washington University's vehicle being trucked to LA and making a brief drive at a local enviro envent and in no way did it involve and threat of litigation."
  • "That we continue to appreciate and recognize the passion and enthusiasm for electric vehicle technology, and hope that the issues we face today in terms of energy security and the like will encourage hundreds of thousand if not millions of consumers to consider purchasing or leasing our EFlex extended range electric system as illustrated by the Chevy Volt when it is ready for prime time."

Chip from the EVDL writes (2007.12.22):

Shortly before the 2005 NEDRA Power of DC I actually did speak to a GM Engineer, Raj Choudhury, about the BYU EV1. Raj is one of the lead engineers for the GM Fuel Cell Program.
At the time, he was considering bringing a GM fuel cell car to compete at the event but pulled out at the last inute because they weren't able to support the car with a crew that weekend. I was really hoping we could race the BYU car against the fuel cell car.
Anyway, we got to talking about the BYU EV1 and Raj thought it was great project and he mentioned the whole purpose of letting the universities have the EV1 was for the reason that BYU was using the car. And that is, reconfiguring it and experimenting with different drive systems and racing it. GM is apparently impressed with what the BYU crew has done with it and the car was on display at Dearborn for awhile. At the race, Tom Erekson, the professor at BYU, did mention that under the agreement they had with GM the car couldn't be driven on public roads but racing it on a track was fine and encouraged.

Official word from WWU

This is the official response I got from Eric, the VRI director:

"We did not receive a "Cease and Decist" order. We did receive a phone call from a GM representative pointing out to us that the vehicle is not to be licensed, titled or operated on any public or private road or highway. We are allowed to exhibit the vehicle. The GM representative said that it was fine for us to turn the vehicle into a series hybrid vehicle, similar to the Volt concept car.
Eric Leonhardt
Vehicle Research Institute
Engineering Technology Department
Western Washington University"

Our take

GM in their infinite wisdom to promote their green image and new EV design studio is warning universities to stick to their signed agreements regarding donated EV1 carcases a half decade ago. Turns out the schools technical departments were able to revive their EV1's as part of the process of hybridizing them as intended in the donation contracts<ref>Does anyone have a copy of a Universities EV1 contract? Some might be interested in it's content.</ref>. Unfortunately the schools let some people see and video tape the vehicles and also may have let their tires touch a roads surface, which is apparently prohibited. Another part of the agreement was that the schools would not mar GMs image, which they feel the videos of the car may have done. So why is GM upset about all this?

  • It's ironic that it's not the crushing of a small fleet of EV1's which were loved by their drivers that tarnishes the GM image, but rather video of the cars being driven on roads when a group of university student restores one which mars GMs image.
  • Perhaps access to the EV1 would be considered cheating for members of GMs new EV design studio which will be working on the new Chevy Volt. <ref>GM to setup new Electric Vehicle Design Studio:
  • 2007.12.12 - Volt electric vehicle one step closer to production, says GM
    Bob Boniface, lead for the exterior design of the Chevrolet Volt concept, said: “We handpicked a team of both young and experienced designers who are enthusiastic, eager and believe in the cause as I do,” said Boniface. “They want to find a better way, a solution to our dependency on petroleum, and that’s what this car is about.”
  • 2007.12.12 - General Motors sets up electric vehicle development team
  • 2007.12.13 - Back to the future: electric vehicle at the core of GM's vision GM is aiming to reclaim the lost mantle of automotive technology leadership from foreign auto makers


  • It takes the edge off the Volt Hype if people know that the EV1 existed a decade ago and was already slated to become a series hybrid. GM even had a running 4 seat EV1 at the EVS-18 in Beijing (1998) which was a series hybrid with as much range as the Volt. <ref>Add links to Gen3 EV1, if you can still find any of it.
  • 2006.07.17 - A Word to the Detractors of Who Killed the Electric Car? was trying to argue that what GM stated (not that they actually did it) of what they spent on the EV1 project wasn't a lot of money. However, the blog has a good deal of information on the some of the prototypes and working built vehicles that GM made off of the EV1 base. There were series hybrids much like the up coming Chevy Volt, as well as fuel-cell, parallel, 4-seater and other permutations. I came to the conclusion long ago that while batteries may not have been ready for prime time a series hybrid was certainly doable. It has only taken GM a decade to come to their senses. The Chevy Volt is the closest GM has come to my concept of a MFFFPISHVE (Mufpishvee), which is a Multi-Fuel, Flexible Fuel, Plug-In Series Hybrid Vehicle. If GM produces the Chevy Volt (not in its fuel-cell version) in the hundreds of thousands of units, all their bast transgressions should be forgiven. (If and Only If).


  • To ensure that only GMs own pre-approved and focus group branded "Green Image" is promoted, being green is subjective after all, isn't it?
  • GM likes to talk green (EVs, PHEVs, and E-Flex), but in the end they are really still all about the yellow (ethanol, Flex Fuel).
  • Perhaps because GM has become <insert expletive here>?
  • ...
  • ...

We seriously hope that GM proves us all wrong and gets the Volt and other E-Flex vehicles in dealers very soon, but many of us are reserving our enthusiasm until that actually comes to fruition.


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