EV1 has turned into one of the largest scapegoats in the automotive industry. Many people believe that the futuristic
was put to pasture long before its full usefulness had been met, a
viewpoint supported by the Chris Paine film, "Who Killed the Electric Car." To those conspiracy theorists, Angus MacKenzie at
has another take to offer:
. While the California Air Resources Board has been blamed for many things, the death of the electric car is not often one of them. But MacKenzie quotes Howard Wilson, a man deeply involved in the EV1 program, as suggesting that the engineering team wanted to make the electric car a
using a small gas turbine engine which could make enough electricity for the electric motors without a large battery. This could have reduced the weight of the vehicle and increased its range exponentially. Why didn't they do it? CARB had mandated that the automakers needed to offer at least two percent of their fleets as zero emission vehicles, which effectively sealed the fate of the hybrid EV1. These happenings left the door wide open for other companies,
Toyota in particular
, to carve out the hybrid niche for themselves.
, as they say, is history.