March 14, 2005

GM to crush last of electric cars

Detroit, Michigan – Remaining stock of the EV1, a rechargeable electric coupe introduced by General Motors in the late 1990s, are headed toward the crusher, with no intention of allowing them to remain in private hands.

The EV1, which could travel 225 km on a charge and reach zero to 100 km/hr in less than 8 seconds, was leased to some 800 California drivers. The vehicles were never offered for outright sale.

The last leases ran out last August and GM discontinued the program, stating that the market was not big enough. They would not sell the cars, saying that they could not service them because many of the companies participating in the project no longer make parts for the cars.

Nearly 100 people are demanding an opportunity to buy the cars, which have been returned to the automaker and are sitting in a lot in southern California. Many have already gone to a car crusher.

GM, which said it spent US$1 billion on the project, has donated several of the cars to universities and automobile museums, but is adamant that it will not offer the vehicles for private sale.

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