• Sep 8th 2007 at 10:29AM
  • 17
All you fans of Who Killed the Electric Car? should avert your eyes or move on the next story now. OK, you've been warned. Time magazine has published another of those staples of the publishing biz, a Top XX whatever of the month/year/decade/all time. This time they generated a list of Top Fifty Worst Cars of all time. It's a pretty comprehensive list and most people with any familiarity with cars (especially crappy ones) will agree with most of the choices.

After all who argue with the presence of the Pontiac Aztek, the AMC Pacer or the Edsel? Many of the cars on the list were truly horrid, while others simply weren't ready for prime-time. The 1981 Cadillac V-8-6-4 was about two decades ahead of the necessary electronic engine controls. The GM EV-1 was mostly the latter with elements of the former.

While the EV-1 was undoubtedly a ground-breaking machine, it's limitations as a car seriously limited it potential market appeal. As two seater only, and a small one at that, the vast majority of Americans would just never be interested in the car in that form. Then there was the small matter of the cost of materials and electronics that went into the car still being way to expensive for a mass market car a decade ago. Much of that cost has been dramatically reduced since then (apart from the battery), and we're getting close to the point when this thing could be viable, as long as they size it so average Americans can fit.

[Source: Time]


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  • 17 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      Addendum: the model T is on the list. Are you kidding me?

      The Time article doesn't even deserve the validation of a post here. I've met people with severe mental disabilities that write better copy than Time publishes. I stopped reading it in the 9th grade, and I suggest all others follow suit.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Yes, a few S-10EV and also Ford Ranger EV survived the shredder as well as the Rav4-EV. The high demand for EVs (even with the comparatively limited range that these trucks provide) is also clearly evidenced when they sell on ebay or otherwise. Forgive me for not giving an exhaustive list in the interest of being concise.

      The point remains that the EVs created by automakers in the late 90s / early 2000s were never produced with the intent of going into mass production, but were only produced through government mandate. Much like with seat belts and airbags, automakers fought having to serve the public interest by making these cars every step of the way. The only difference is that this time the automakers won.

      What experience do you have with the Rav4 EV's performance? A quick check of wikipedia shows that the car was demonstrated to outperform the ICE Rav4 in acceleration tests, as should be expected as electric motors in general provide better low end torque than gasoline engines. If you don't trust wikipedia take the word of people who still drive the cars.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think that the ev1 was one of the greatest ideas ever , first off pollution and gobal warming is coming into affect so fast and this might not affect us but what about your childern and your grandchildern , do you want them to suffer for our foolish mistakes ? , because i know that i dont. I got the chance to drive on electric car , they are amazing i love to own one.
      • 8 Years Ago
      How can one simultaneously realize the EV1 had serious problems of practicality due to being a small two seater and also cheer on the Tesla Roadster which is even smaller, less practical and horrendously expensive?

      As the Th!nk (Ford) guy said in "Who Killed the Electric Car?", when you got done explaining to people the limitations of an electric car they invariably then expected to get it cheaper than a gas car as compensation for the reduced utility. When you tell them it actually costs more instead, most potential customers turned into non-customers.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "EV advocats must believe that we are to never philosophically thrust the car down the throats of mouth breathing Americans. The way to address the conversion is by attacking the infrastructure or be going directly for the pocket book."

      Wow. Amazing display of elitist disdain and ecofantasy terroristic threats all in one. This is the reason the most visible of EV proponents are irrelevant. Your attitude causes more harm than good. You keep right on "attacking the infrastructure". I'll stay over here in the world of science and fact with my mouth breathing friends, many of whom you would undoubtedly call redneck, but have PHD's and a deeper sense of ecological responsibility than your type will ever understand.

      Face it--right now GM is doing more than any other US car company to make PHEV's doable, and you're still caught up in the THEYKILLEDTHEELECTRICCAR!!! myth.

      • 8 Years Ago
      GM is trying to come back from near bankruptcy. They are doing their best to distance themselves from that movie and to make sure their fuel cell idea catches on. This is actually going to help their image for the most part.
      • 8 Years Ago
      You might be wasting your time and brain cells if:

      you read Time Magazine.

      Sadly, the papblum and cud has a wide audience. EV advocats must believe that we are to never philosophically thrust the car down the throats of mouth breathing Americans. The way to address the conversion is by attacking the infrastructure or be going directly for the pocket book.
      • 8 Years Ago
      This is ludacrist!

      The EV1 was a magnificent car. It had an all aluminium chassis, was the first true modern electric car, and had outstanding performance with the NiMH version.

      It was simply at the wrong time. If the EV1 was built today, I can see it as a niche vehicle, probably selling as well as the Honda Insight did.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Wife and I leased the EV-1 for about 2 years. Loved it, would have bought it. Car was a little limited by range, but as a second car, no problem. Worked just great as a commuter (15 miles each way to work). Next generations, EV-2, etc. would have been cheaper, larger, whatever. By now we'd be using A123 lithium ions in there. Ah well. So tell me again why I should wait 15 or more years for fuel cells or why they can't build the e-Flex in 2,000 unit quantity now just with a bit less than 40 mile range?
      • 8 Years Ago
      @ mike

      "The EV1 wasn't built at the wrong time, it wasn't too expensive to make or buy, it didn't have too limited a range, etc etc. Did Time care to talk any of the lucky few who actually drove one?"

      The EV1 was too expensive to buy because they didn't make enough, and they didn't make enough because it was the land of SUVS and cheap gas back then. Therefore, it was because it was too expensive to buy. I love the EV1, but it just wasn't recognized for what it was, and wasn't given its full potential, because it was at the wrong time. And by the way, I have done lots of my own research of the EV1 myself. I read The Car that Could, saw the movie, and have talked to people who have driven the car.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "What experience do you have with the Rav4 EV's performance? A quick check of wikipedia shows that the car was demonstrated to outperform the ICE Rav4 in acceleration tests, as should be expected as electric motors in general provide better low end torque than gasoline engines. If you don't trust wikipedia take the word of people who still drive the cars."

      I was just going by this site as it seemed great for comparison: http://www.seattleeva.org/wiki/Toyota_RAV4_EV

      Please demand they update their page's incorrect (according to you) info.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Tony Belding:
      I do see the Tesla is more performance-oriented than the EV1. However, it doesn't deliver "more performance at lower cost".

      Yes, you can make comparisons against expensive cars that it outperforms. Or you can compare it against cars like the Dodge SRT-4 (not the new Caliber version) which perform the same or better for $20K.
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