Leave it to the builder of an electric vehicle called "White Zombie" to dream up a scenario straight out of a horror movie. In this case, it's an old General Motors EV1 electric vehicle seemingly brought back from the dead in the guise of a first-generation (and nearly carbon copy) Honda Insight hybrid, according to Plug In Cars. John Wayland, whose White Zombie is an all-electric 1972 Datsun he's been known to race from time to time, is taking cobbled-together pieces of an old EV1 given to Brigham Young University, among other sources, and creating an all-electric Insight whose single-charge range will approach 400 miles.

Wayland is about 80 percent done with what he dubs the "Silver Streak," whose relatively light weight (less than 1,100 pounds) enables that "extended" range. Wayland sourced an EV1 transaxle motor and wheels to make his so-called "EV2" happen.

GM made about 1,100 EV1s between 1996 and 1999 but took them back from their leaseholders in 2003 and crushed them (the process was memorably recounted in the film Who Killed the Electric Car?). The automaker did donate about 40 disabled vehicles to Ohio State, the University of Wisconsin, Western Washington and other universities, including BYU. There's also an EV1 in the Smithsonian.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 36 Comments
      StaceyS
      • 22 Hours Ago
      Late 90s tech. The Insight was actually first for sale in the US in December of 1999. I test drove one in Spring of 2000 and was really impressed. I thought the regen/assist gauge was very intuitive and the car felt competent. Downside was it was tiny inside, and it felt tinny, slightly cheap. I was so close to buying one, but at the last minute decided not to when I remembered that I really didn't drive very much, and when I did need my car (an 85 Volvo 740 wagon), I did need it for carrying stuff, which the Insight wasn't going to help me with. It was still a very impressive bit of engineering, and I'm still drawn to them to this day. There's a pizza shop here in town that has a couple of them as pizza delivery vehicles. I always thought that was a smart move...
      Giza Plateau
      • 22 Hours Ago
      Sure, the old Insight is not far from the EV1 but it would be much better if Chris Payne and pals strapped on a pair and pressured GM to liberate the few remaining EV1s. Pathetic that they haven't done anything. GM doesn't need their evil reputation relived so they can't stand public attention in the press. It could be as simple as picking up the phone to GM and recording the conversation and telling them in no uncertain terms that if they don't agree to release them immediately that you are going to war. Say a mini documentary released on youtube. Titled GM is Still Evil. Those cars on the road again with new lithium packs would be a powerful living symbol.
        Naturenut99
        • 22 Hours Ago
        @Giza Plateau
        Have you called and complained to GM? Because Chris has talked to GM. Their exact conversation I have no idea what has been said. But Chris has done more than anyone here ( and almost anywhere really) to push GM into producing EV's again.
          Giza Plateau
          • 22 Hours Ago
          @Naturenut99
          bluepongo, so Kanye West is more intelligent than me because he has a lot more money than me? I guess that means Nikola Tesla was downright retarded. Moron.
          Giza Plateau
          • 22 Hours Ago
          @Naturenut99
          I have exchanged emails with some of the douche GM reps and you know I don't mince words. But evil idiots like that don't move when a single brilliant person tell them to. As long as they think I can effectively be ignored, they will. And they did. But Chris and Chelsea can get public attention and the GM super douches respond to that. Same as they didn't care one iota about all the protests staged outside the impounded EV1s. They thought they could get away with those. But the public attention for Who Killed the Electric Car embarrassed them enough to move. The power of WKTEC is not in question. The super lame surrender since then is not in question either. Just like Woodward and Bernstein, one significant act and then flatline since. That's just not good enough. GM's evil hands are still on the few remaining EV1s and noone is objecting but me.
          Giza Plateau
          • 22 Hours Ago
          @Naturenut99
          Stacey, if I'm brilliant, maybe the problem isn't with me.. Maybe the 'negativity' is just yet another moronic excuse to defend the obtuseness. As I say to the many who level the thoughtless criticism at me that it's just my attitude that's the problem, SHOW ME HOW IT'S DONE THEN. If I'm so wrong and you are so right. I'm the one who is right. You are the one who is wrong. My 'negativity' is my intelligence acurately illuminating the super stupidity in this world. That is to my great credit.
          EVnerdGene
          • 22 Hours Ago
          @Naturenut99
          @Nnut99 "to push GM into producing EV's again." GM does produce an EV again. The Spark EV.
          Giza Plateau
          • 22 Hours Ago
          @Naturenut99
          Tesla wasn't cheated. He was just a brilliant idealist like me who focused on real worth instead of accumulation of mammon. And if you think Kanye West is more intelligent than I am you are even dumber than I thought. I'm the peak of intelligence while Kanye West makes Jessica Simpson look academic. I would not be surprised if his IQ is below 85. You put him in a room with Ryan Lochte and Mike Tyson and you got a day care center.
          StaceyS
          • 22 Hours Ago
          @Naturenut99
          @DanFredricksen/Giza Plateau: People tend not to listen to people who harshly criticize others while at the same time spout off on how brilliant they are themselves. And if you insist that you don't care what other people think, why should we care what you think? I think you probably have some good ideas that have merit, but I am so put off by your negativity and arrogance that I have a hard time getting past it. I'm sure you could care less what I think, I just find it unfortunate that you are unable to separate the ideas and discussion from the negative emotion and stubborn idealism. Sometimes I think you're actually an oil company troll just trying to get people pissed off at electric car supporters.
          bluepongo1
          • 22 Hours Ago
          @Naturenut99
          @ Giza Kanye West: obviously, yes. N. Tesla was cheated, what's your excuse ? (LOL!!! juvinile name calling; Thanks, my last post must have hit home.)
          bluepongo1
          • 22 Hours Ago
          @Naturenut99
          @Stacy S No, he seems unemployable due to mental illness ( alien conspiracy/ messiah complex/ delusions of grandeur) . @ Giza I'd show you my bank account, but by your "inverse alien logic "(standard troll logic) : Those more successfull than you and actually do things are dumber than you. (9_9)
          bluepongo1
          • 22 Hours Ago
          @Naturenut99
          @ Giza I would still associate with any of those people you named over you, your imaginary friend in the sky, your imaginary aliens, & the chorus of voices in your head.... get help.
        Giza Plateau
        • 22 Hours Ago
        @Giza Plateau
        That mini docu could feature a few celeb pals and their new Teslas as a nice contrast, twisting the knife in GM's gut. They only understand shame. That's what made WKTEC good. That's what changed the world.
        MTN RANGER
        • 22 Hours Ago
        @Giza Plateau
        Yes, I think GM has a bunch of EV1s in crates in a warehouse like at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark.
      thomas.leopard
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is why I dont like ( not hate) GM that much... they are so willing to fall for bribes.
      A_Guy
      • 22 Hours Ago
      The pic combined with this headline is confusing. I thought I was looking at an Insight converted to look like an EV1. I was amazed how close it looked but, if I am understanding correctly now, it doesn't yet exist and will actually still look like an Insight but has a few sourced drivetrain components from an EV1.
      Dave
      • 22 Hours Ago
      There must by some EV1 drivetrains floating around somewhere: "Other than the reduced motor size, most of the EV1 power electronics were carried over directly to the S-10 EV, which mandated that the Electric S-10 use a front-wheel-drive configuration, unlike the rear-wheel-drive setup of the standard S-10 .... Unlike the EV1, of the 492 S-10EVs assembled about 60 were sold to fleet customers, rather than just leased through restrictive programs..." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_S-10_EV
        StaceyS
        • 22 Hours Ago
        @Dave
        http://www.acpropulsion.com/ This company was co-founded by Alan Cocconi who helped develop the EV1 drivetrain and the initial technology behind the Tesla Roadster.
      paulwesterberg
      • 22 Hours Ago
      One lone grease-monkey out engineers GM. Thanks to their brain-dead CEOs and bean-counters they wont have a product that can compete with this for 10 years.
        BraveLil'Toaster
        • 22 Hours Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        Out-engineered *how*? Anyone with a little mechanical knowledge and a blow-torch can shoehorn 1100 lbs of batteries into a car. That's not the problem. The biggest problem is making it affordable, and someone doing a one-off conversion in their garage isn't going to improve that in any way. The people at the battery plant are the ones who need to do *that* engineering.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 22 Hours Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        No kidding.. On that note, i know a guy who has an original Honda Insight. He replaced the main battery with a large A123 pack and bumped up the current to the motor. The car is actually pretty damn peppy now and can cruise along on the motor only at lower speeds and gets amazing MPG since it is a plugin hybrid now. That plugin hybrid Honda Insight is using technology developed in the mid 2000's. Imagine what could be done now if you set a hobbyist to work with modern components. EV DIY rocks.
      GR
      • 22 Hours Ago
      I'm convinced that if a company could figure out a way to mass market a DIY ICE-to-EV conversion kit (or ICE-to-plug in conversion kit) they would make a KILLING. Where are the Elon Musks for that??
      Joseph Brody
      • 22 Hours Ago
      Does a EV really need a 400 mile range? Most of the time you will be driving to work 8 miles burning energy to propel 980 lb of dead weight battery that you are not using. Lighten the car 980 lb and you fill find that W-hrs/ mile improves a lot. Of course a practical range for a BEV is a lot more than 8 miles, but have made my point. You could build a nice BEV Insight without making it overweight. If it is overweight, beefing up the springs, dampers and brakes is all you need. If I want to go on a road trip, I will take a fossil fuel burner that I already have, borrow or rent one.
      Letstakeawalk
      • 22 Hours Ago
      I think 2WM's reference is to the li-ion battery and perhaps motor controls. Imagine if someone put components from a 2013 Leaf into an Insight (aka "modern components"). "...That plugin hybrid Honda Insight is using technology developed in the mid 2000's." Nobody would claim that the Honda Insight's tech was developed in the mid-2000's. I sat in one in Frankfurt in Fall 1999.
      Letstakeawalk
      • 1 Year Ago
      Could we just stop this "In Which..." trope headline shtick?
      EVnerdGene
      • 22 Hours Ago
      Found the link to the original. Thanks. "The Silver Streak should weigh only slightly more than the original EV1" Original EV1 was ~3,086 lb (1,400 kg) Not sure how the original Insight (~1900 lb) is gonna handle that. btw: One of the things I loved about my 2000 Insight was that it felt nimble and light. I had a 3-mile stretch of country road just before my house - had a spot picked out, would get up to 70 mph, and coast 1.2 miles into my garage then slightly touch brake. A game I played often, whenever no one behind me. EV1 - what a car ! 1st gen Insight - what a car ! btw2: If I were going to do this, I'd consider a Leaf powertrain - and a lot lot less batt.
      Letstakeawalk
      • 22 Hours Ago
      The Insight's aluminum frame will undoubtedly need a bit of reinforcing.
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