Electric-vehicle aficionados have their own version of an Elvis sighting, and the most recent example is at Missouri S&T in Rolla, MO, about 100 miles southwest of St. Louis. There, an old General Motors EV1 electric vehicle sits, its body relatively intact but its drivetrain non-functional, Jalopnik reports.

The car, which some say could fetch as much as $500,000 in running shape (there's the legend of an EV1 selling in 2008 for about $450,000), has been on theoretical blocks for about a year because of a myriad of broken and irreplaceable parts. The car is one of about three-dozen that GM donated to universities, museums and other research entities, sans powertrains of course. The rest of the approximately 1,100 lease-only EVs that GM made were crushed and famously documented in the film Who Killed the Electric Car?.

Last month, Plug In Cars reported that John Wayland of White Zombie fame is rebuilding what he's calling the EV2 out of EV1 parts and the body of a look-alike, first-gen Honda Insight.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 27 Comments
      Giza Plateau
      • 2 Years Ago
      The who killed the electric car crowd could easily pressure GM to release the few remaining EV1s but they do nothing. such *******. Chris Paine just has to mention the idea of doing a documentary about GM's continued underhanded opposition, GM doesn't want that publicity so they would easily comply. But everybody is so lame now. It's like Woodward and Bernstein. One success and then they are lapdogs for the man ever since. pathetic.
        taser it
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Giza Plateau
        Jante Law rears it's head again.
          Giza Plateau
          • 2 Years Ago
          @taser it
          You are not using that right :) Jante law is petty people trying to keep achievers down. I'm criticizing Paine and pals for going soft after their great achievement. I give credit where credit is due. And I grant no quarter for offenders :) I am brutally fair.
      m_2012
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wait, a half a million for a stripped out car?! The body could easily be made for a fraction of that. The power train is the interesting part, even if totally obsolete now. GM killed it because they could not compete against itself partially. It would have been as disruptive then as the Tesla is now.
        aatheus
        • 2 Years Ago
        @m_2012
        $450k for a running car. In its current state, it will be worth quite a bit less.
          Greg
          • 2 Years Ago
          @aatheus
          These things are 'worth' virtually nothing. They do fill a spot in history, and they are exceptionally rare, so a collector may pay big bucks for one, but even the SMART ED (or whatever it's called now) is far superior to the EV1.
      2 wheeled menace
      • 2 Years Ago
      Cool, another holocaust survivor..
      adrive7
      • 2 Years Ago
      A bunch were given to schools. Ohio State has one, sans drive train, parked at the back of a parking lot. The drive train was pulled for use in some other project. The body and interior are still in really excellent shape. There was talk of dropping a V8 in it while I was there, but it never materialized. I grabbed a picture last time I was there: http://technicallyspeaking.brachiolopemedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/EV1.jpg
        adrive7
        • 2 Years Ago
        @adrive7
        Oh hey, the linked article actually mentions it. I should read.
      Ed
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm not surprised it was found at UMR. There are some nerdy/techie guys down there.. and then the townies.
      Edge
      • 2 Years Ago
      A car that was not ready for prime-time.
      EVnerdGene
      • 2 Years Ago
      Giza, I don't know why you are so obsessed with the EV1 ? I remember admiring some of the technological details at EVSs and the annual SAE convention (magnesium die-cast steering wheel guts and under dash structure, electrically actuated rear brake , , , , , Impressive Cd ! 3000 pounds ;-< maybe a 100 mile range with the later NiMH :-< Billion $ development cost back when a billion was a lot of money :-< OK, EV1 range would not so impressive today, but people didn't want them back then (one sat on a Saturn lot in SoCal for over 6 months; and they don't want them now either Like the 2000-2006 Insight Could we build an even better, lighter, more range, more performance today ? You betcha' Would people buy them ? Enough to pay for the development costs ? Americans want 5000 pound FUVs (as much as I hate seeing Tesla build the model X, it does make biz-sense) So do the Danes - just not as many willing to pay the high gas costs.
        Giza Plateau
        • 2 Years Ago
        @EVnerdGene
        I want the EV1 on the roads because it's a powerful symbol and a reminder of the crimes of evil man. It's also a reminder that you can actually make a car aerodynamic. Perish the thought! The car was built heavy because it was based on very heavy batteries so that aspect isn't as powerful a symbol but it doesn't have to be perfect for it to be good to come back. And you could tank it up with equivalent weight high density lithium and then it could be a record breaker. I wouldn't be surprised if you could reach 1000km range at 90km/h. That too would be a powerful symbol. Enough to change the world yet again.
          Giza Plateau
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Giza Plateau
          You are nothing like me with that douche corporate apologetics. Making up bullshit scenarios to justify what they did. You could have a job making decisions in the old GM with that poor mind. You disgust me. They could sell the cars as scrap to whomever wanted them, making them sign whatever needed to release them from parts supply if that was necessary but it wasn't. Never mind that they could simply cannibalize some of the cars for parts if new parts were impossibly expensive which of course they wouldn't be. It's hard to imagine that they made the most money crushing the cars in the desert. And in any case they didn't have to lie about their intent to crush them. So you should be profoundly ashamed of defending what they did. And it's not a hypermiler. Hypermiling is a nonsense combustion engine driving style. It's dead. EV1 with a lot of lithium would not be heavier than the crap cars on the road today. Far lighter than Model S. And I imagine there could be a market for a new one, particularly as an overlap between Tesla Roadster and EV1, weighing less than half of either and a minimal fast charge pack. Cd of 0.2, 600kg weight and Porsche beating acceleration. Which would be easy and cheap to do. They are just too stupid to see it.
          EVnerdGene
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Giza Plateau
          Make a replica of the EV1. You might sell a gagillion of them.
          EVnerdGene
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Giza Plateau
          OBTW: You could stuff the EV1 with lithium batts, and it would still be too damn heavy
          EVnerdGene
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Giza Plateau
          "we lose money on every car we sell, but we make it up in volume" GM lost money on every EV1 sold, with no end in sight. Then they lost even more money on every one they serviced. I remember stories of them flying engineers cross-country to fix cars. (that's engineers - not technicians, not mechanics) Deep pockets - scared sh!tless that some amateur would be fried trying to service/mod it him/herself (even the local-yokel mechanic at the local Saturn dealer). Asking for the return of the vehicles at the end of the lease was business decision that they had every right to make. Crushing them? What else would you suggest they do with them? 1. Bozo EVnerd installs Chinese lithium batts with major mods to car, crashes, airbags don't work, sues GM. 2. I installed LiBatts, now my motor don't work. GM tech, ya gotta help me; I bought the car from you. 3. - 12. I can think of a dozen more - - - GM EV1 was a jewel - pushed the envelope - about ten years before the tech was ripe - maybe 20 or 30. Not a GM fan, but I cannot hate GM for the EV1. I've driven the Tesla Roadster, Model S, and several times the EV1. I'll take the EV1, err with an up-to-date batt-pack. [ but, of course I'm more of the hypermiler, Cd is king nerd like you are ] other trivia: GM ran full page ads in the LA Times every week for months and months. Had to be "approved" by GM to lease one. $499 per month lease. then later $399 with SQAQMD subsidy - now I want one. Went to my local Saturn dealer, started filling out the approval forms, and the salesman looked up at me and said; no way they're gonna lease one to someone that works for a competitor. I had many people ask me if they should lease one. 'lease a million dollar car for $399 ? Hell yes !' (if you can live with the limitations, of course) my 2cents - No major auto mfg is going to build a hypermiler 2-seater EV like the EV1. Huge development costs and not a big enough market. Years ago, this EVnerd guessed the hypermiler route was where Tesla was headed after the Roadster. How wrong. but, might make sense for a another Tesla-like, but smaller scale start-up --- like Plateau Motors !
          EVnerdGene
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Giza Plateau
          You keep saying everything is "easy and cheap" yet GM spent over a $Billion developing the EV1, Tesla spent several hundred $Million on the Roadster, and over a twice that on the Model S. They're not building a one-off in a garage - then production tooling, production lines, inventory, , , , Hypermiling - You take the average Joe off the street and send him on an urban-suburban cycle, and compare with me in the same car, and I can get 30% better fuel economy; whether gas, diesel, or electric. Same principles apply. You are showing your
        • 1 Year Ago
        @EVnerdGene
        It sounds like your not from the US. You can't go buy the car sales as the decision of most Americans. We are just as much controlled by the Government and the big manufacturers as Europeans are controlled by state ran healthcare. If you start car shopping as a normal citizen and find a $30K Camry and find a $40K Hybrid, which one are you likely to buy? The car and fuel industries don't make car buying equal. Even the SUV's you talk about, American's are controlled by advertising and sales pressures. I would luv a Tesla but for $100K, that isn't reasonable for the working class. And when I scale back my car buying experience, I find buying a $40K Prius as not being practical. So, I settle for a $25K VW Golf instead, that really doesn't do the same gas mileage as it's EU cousins. In fact US specs require a larger tank and fuel injector. Do you think that's because it runs better? No, the fuel is consumed faster. So, in short provide the consumers a $30K competitively priced EV mixed in with the incentive priced SUV and common sedans. Then, come back and say what American's buy the most.
      flammablewater
      • 2 Years Ago
      PUT A K20 IN IT!
        Giza Plateau
        • 2 Years Ago
        @flammablewater
        hehe really? a piece of **** combustion engine? I think not.
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