Histomobile is the ultimate library of car pictures, videos, and more than 3.000.000 specifications ! | Create account | Log in

Car wallpapers and specifications

EN
FR
On Histomobile.com : 1310 manufacturers, 31115 cars, 44105 pictures, 30684 news in english
General Motors Corporation Group models

Wallpaper Specifications

 General Motors Corporation Group EV


(1996-1999)




The General Motors Corporation Group  EV was produced from 1996 to 1999
3 engines are on Histomobile.1117 unit(s) produced.


General Motors Corporation Group EV 

In January 1990, GM chairman Roger Smith demonstrated the Impact, an electric concept car, at the 1990 Los Angeles Auto Show. The car had been developed by electric vehicle company AeroVironment, using design knowledge gained from GM's participation in the 1987 World Solar Challenge, a trans-Australia race for solar vehicles, with the Sunraycer, which went on to win the competition. Alan Cocconi of AC Propulsion designed and built the original drive controller electronics for the Impact, and the design was later refined by Hughes Electronics. On April 18, 1990, Smith announced that the Impact would become a production vehicle.

Impressed by the viability of the Impact, and motivated by GM's promise to produce the Impact, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) moved on a large environmental initiative, ruled that each of the U.S.'s seven largest carmakers—the largest of which was GM—would be required to make 2% of its fleet emission-free by 1998, 5% by 2001, and 10% by 2003, in accordance with consumer demand, in order to continue to sell cars in California. The mandate was instated to combat California's poor air quality, which at the time was worse than the other 49 states combined. Other members of what was then the American Automobile Manufacturers Association, along with Toyota, Nissan and Honda, each also developed a prototype zero-emissions vehicle in response to the new mandate.
In 1994, GM debuted 50 hand-built Impacts to use in a consumer study. The cars would be lent to drivers for periods of one to two weeks, under the agreement that their experiences would be logged; the program was known as PrEView, and organized by GM's Sean McNamara. Volunteers had to own a garage where a high-current charging unit could be installed by an electric company. McNamara expected at most eighty volunteers in the Los Angeles area, but was forced to close the phone lines after 10,000 people called in. In metropolitan New York, 14,000 callers responded before the lines were closed. Driver response to the cars was favorable, as were reviews by car magazines. According to Motor Trend, "The Impact is precisely one of those occasions where GM proves beyond any doubt that it knows how to build fantastic automobiles. This is the world's only electric vehicle that drives like a real car." That year, a modified Impact set a land speed record for production electric vehicles of 183 mph (295 km/h).
Automobile called the car's ride and handling "amazing," praising its "smooth delivery of power". The Impact was a hit with consumers; but according to some, GM was less than pleased with the prospect of a successful electric car. According to Matthew L. Wald, in a front-page story in The New York Times:
“General Motors is preparing to put its electric vehicle act on the road, and planning for a flop.
With pride and pessimism, the company, the furthest along of the Big Three in designing a mass-market electric car, says that in the face of a California law that requires that 2 percent of new cars be "zero emission" vehicles beginning in 1997, it has done its best but that the vehicle has come up short.... Now it hopes that lawmakers and regulators will agree with it and postpone or scrap the deadline.

By Wald's claims, GM was preparing for and simultaneously fighting against the CARB regulations; the company had done its best, but found that the mass-market electric car was not currently feasible. According to Dennis Minano, then-GM Vice President for Energy and Environment, "Is it what our customer wants?" GM was not alone in its denunciation of electric vehicles as a viable alternative to the gasoline car; according to Robert J. Eaton, then-chairman of Chrysler, "The question is whether the market is ready for the product... if the law is there, we'll meet it... at this point of time, nobody can forecast that we can make."In the words of Thomas C. Jorling, then Commissioner of Environmental Conservation for New York State, which had adopted the California emission program, consumers had demonstrated tremendous interest in electric cars, but automakers did not want to render obsolete their multi-billion dollar investments in internal combustion engine technology. After PrEView ended, GM destroyed all 50 of the cars.
GM continued work on its electric car program. By 1996, the Impact concept had evolved into the GM EV1; it was to be the first GM car in history to wear a "General Motors" nameplate, instead of one of GM's marques. The first-generation, or "Gen I" car, which would be powered by lead-acid batteries, had a stated range of 70 to 100 miles; 660 examples in dark green, red, and silver were produced. On December 5, 1996, GM began delivering the EV1s to its selection of carefully-screened lessees; in similar fashion to the Impact's PrEView program, only residents of Southern California and Arizona could participate in the leasing program, and there was no option to purchase the cars. A contractual clause specifically disallowed re-purchase of the vehicle at the conclusion of the leasing period. Domestic television networks, as well as crews from the BBC, Japan's NHK were on hand for the launch. Actors Ed Begley Jr. and Alexandra Paul were among the first to sign their GMAC leases. Other lessees included a Los Angeles city councilman, a Skylab solar-panel engineer, and Jordan Harris, the president of Sony Music. The car's release was accompanied by an $8 million promotional campaign, which included prime-time TV advertising, billboards, a web site, and an appearance at the premiere of the Sylvester Stallone film Daylight. By the time the release event wrapped up, 40 EV1s had been leased through 24 Saturn dealers; GM estimated that 100 EV1s would be leased by the end of the year, and went on to lease 300 more in 1997. The car's limited launch sparked concern that GM had made a deal with CARB to delay the implementation of the first phase of the ZEV program, which had been scheduled to go into effect in 1998.

Although the car could not be purchased outright, its MSRP was quoted at $34,000. Joe Kennedy, vice president of marketing for Saturn, accepted concerns regarding the vehicle's cost, the outdated lead-acid battery technology, and the EV1's limited range, and said "Let us not forget that technology starts small and grows slowly before technology improves and costs go down." Concerns were also voiced by anti-taxation groups, who alleged that the exemptions and tax credits that EV1 lessees received constituted government-subsidized motoring for affluent professionals. Some of these groups, such as consumer organization Californians Against Utility Company Abuse which mounted opposition to the use of taxpayer dollars to build public EV charging stations, were accused of receiving their funding from and being mouthpieces for the oil industry.

In 1999, the brand manager for the EV1 program, Ken Stewart, described the response of the car's drivers as "wonderfully-manical loyalty." Points in the car's favor included its styling, ride, handling, and performance. The lessees had integrated the EV1 into their lifestyle, making their electric car less a novelty item and more a primary source of transportation. Tom Hanks praised the car on late-night talk shows, saying "Believe it or not, that sucker goes!"
Despite the enthusiasm of the first group of drivers, GM demonstrated ambivalence towards promoting the electric car after its initial release. One of its initial TV spots was nominated for an Emmy award; but later advertising was less visible, limited to direct mail and print and TV ads in niche channels. Officially, GM remained committed to the electric vehicle, but drivers were concerned that low public interest would result in the program being scrapped. One driver, Marvin Rush, a cinematographer for the TV series Star Trek: Voyager, was so concerned with GM's weak efforts that he spent $20,000 of his own funds to produce and air four unofficial radio commercials for the car. While the automaker was initially appalled, it later changed its position, announcing that it would make the spots official and reimburse Rush. The company spent $10 million on EV1 advertising in 1997, and promised to increase that amount by $5 million the following year. According to then-EV1 program brand manager Frank Periera, the EV1 was not suited to a high-profile advertising campaign because it only appealed to a small fraction of the car-buying public, who were unfazed at the prospect of a relatively expensive (lease payments were $399 per month), limited-range two-seater.

For the 1999 model year, GM released a Gen II version of the EV1. Major improvements included lower production costs, quieter operation, extensive weight reduction, and the advent of a nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) battery. The Gen II models were initially released with a 60 amp-hour (18.7 kilowatt-hour) Panasonic lead-acid battery pack, a slight improvement over the Gen I power source using the same 312 V voltage; later models featured an Ovonics NiMH battery rated at 77 Ah (26.4 kWh) with 343 volts. Cars with the lead-acid pack had a range of 80 to 100 miles, while the NiMH cars could travel between 100 and 140 miles between charges. For the second-generation EV1, the leasing program was expanded to the cities of San Diego, Sacramento, and Atlanta; monthly payments ranged from $349 to $574. 457 Gen II EV1s were produced by General Motors and leased to customers in the eight months following December 1999. According to some sources, hundreds of drivers wanted to but could not become EV1 lessees.

On March 2, 2000, GM issued a recall for 450 Gen I EV1s. The automaker had determined that a faulty charge port cable could eventually build up enough heat to catch on fire. Sixteen "thermal incidents" and at least one fire occurred as a result of the defect, destroying a car owned by Ron Brauer and Ruth Bygness as it was charging. The recall did not affect second-generation EV1s.
Over the next two years, approximately 200 Gen I EV1s were refitted with NiMH batteries and re-issued to their original lessees on revised two-year leases, including a new limited-mileage clause. Delays were involved due to design complications resulting from the NiMH pack retrofit. As a result, GM offered Gen I drivers the opportunity to terminate their lease at no charge, or the chance to transfer the lease to one of the remaining 150 second-generation EV1s — ahead of those already on the waiting list for Gen II models.

Leave a comment about the General Motors Corporation Group EV (1996-1999) :





Idea and design © 1999-2012 van Damme Stéphane.


Feel free to provide a feedback or suggestions




Terms Of Use / Privacy Policy | Contact

14220