EV1

1999 GEN II — General Motors EV

Driving the EV₁ was unlike driving any other car. No key. No maintenance (except periodically rotating the tires and a coolant change at 100,000 miles). No visits to the gas station. No lag between pressing the pedal and getting a response from the engine. Jackrabbit starts — 0 to 30 in 3 seconds, and the prototype’s top speed was 183 mph. Production cars were limited to a top speed of 80 mph.

Side view of EV1

Sound and sights while accelerating (QuickTime) (406KB)

Interior view (QuickTime) (332KB)

There is an EV₁ on display in the Smithsonian.

Detailed performance statistics (PDF) (179KB)

Details about the design and special features of the car (PDF) (403KB)

Who killed the electric car? A movie from Sony.

EV₁ Wikipedia entry


EV1 NiMH LogoThe second generation GM EV₁ purpose-built electric vehicle had software upgrades, refined ride and handling, improvements in fit and finish, and new plush upholstery, with two battery technologies: An advanced, high-capacity lead acid, and nickel metal hydride.

Propulsion…The Gen II was powered by a 137 horsepower, 3-phase AC induction motor and used a single speed dual reduction gear set with a ratio of 10.946:1. The Gen II propulsion system had an improved drive unit, battery pack, power electronics, 6.6 kW charger, and heating and thermal control module.

Batteries…26 valve-regulated high-capacity lead-acid (PbA) batteries were standard for the EV₁ battery pack. These advanced batteries were an improvement over the pack available with the first generation EV₁ and offered greater range and longer life and a nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) battery pack. This technology nearly doubled the range over the first generation battery and offered improved battery life as well.

Range…The EV₁ with the high-capacity lead-acid pack had an estimated real world driving range of 55 to 95 miles, depending on terrain, driving habits and temperature. …The range with the NiMH pack was even greater. Again, depending on terrain, driving habits, temperature and humidity, estimated real world driving range varied from 75 to 130 miles.

Sticker for EV1Second part of sticker for EV1 Hang tag for EV1

Charging…The EV₁ could be charged safely in all weather conditions with inductive charging. Using a 220-volt charger, charging from 0 to 100% for the new lead-acid pack took up to 5.5 to 6 hours. Charging for the nickel-metal hydride pack, which stored more energy, was 6 to 8 hours.

Blended Re-generative Braking…Braking was accomplished by using a blended combination of front hydraulic disk, and rear electrically-applied drum brakes and the electric propulsion motor. During braking, the electric motor generated electricity (re-generative) which was then used to partially recharge the battery pack.

Aluminum Structure…The structure weighed 290 pounds and was less than 10% of the total vehicle weight. The 162 pieces were bonded together into a unit using aerospace adhesive, spot welds and rivets.

Composite Body Panels…The exterior body panels were dent and corrosion resistant. They were made out of composites and were created using two forming processes known as Sheet Molding Compound (SMC) and Reinforced Reaction Injection Molding (RRIM).

Aerodynamics…The EV₁ was the most aerodynamic production vehicle. It had a 0.19 drag coefficient. It was shaped like a tear drop when viewed from above. In fact, the rear wheels were 9 inches closer together than the front wheels, which allowed the tear drop shape. The EV₁ was the world's most energy-efficient vehicle platform.

Specifications…The EV₁ had an electronically-regulated top speed of 80 miles per hour. It came with traction control, cruise control, anti-lock brakes, airbags, power windows, power door locks and power outside mirrors, AM/FM CD/cassette, tire inflation monitor system and numerous other features.