Electric cars may be reaching their time in the sun with successes like the Tesla Model S, but the basic concept goes back to practically beginning of motoring. EVs also saw a brief renaissance in the 1970s when automakers were trying find a way around rising fuel prices. This 1979 Chrysler ETV-1 concept for sale on eBay Motors is a great example from that era.
Built in 1979, designers hoped the ETV-1 would preview what an electric car would look like in 1985. The base price was slated to start at $6,400, or the rough equivalent of $20,536, which seems like an optimistic price. General Electric created the ETV-1's powertrain, and Chrysler was in charge of styling. At the time, the Department of Energy called it "the first advanced four-passenger subcompact experimental electric car."
While it seems ancient compared to today's EVs, the ETV-1 featured regenerative braking and a computer-controlled electric motor. Chrysler reported a 100-mile range at 45 miles per hour with two passengers in the car. The range fell to 75 miles with four passengers. Acceleration was not brisk with Chrysler claiming the run to 30 mph in 9 seconds. Power was stored in 18 lead-acid batteries, and a full charge took 10 hours from a home outlet.
The seller says that he bought the ETV-1 in non-running condition from the American Museum of Science and Energy in 2005 and had it shipped to Texas. He is selling the early EV because he has no way to repair it and get it running again. The seller admits that the it has been sitting in a barn for years and will need a complete restoration. The price is currently sitting at $3,000 with zero bids and about two days left on the auction; bargain basement dollars for this chunk of automotive history.