Here Come Electric Cars — Really

To its credit, GM did come out with an electric car before any other auto manufacturer. The EV1 was introduced in the mid-nineties and GM cited lack of profitability among other reasons to kill the billion dollar project. In hindsight, this was perhaps the stupidest decision the company could have made.

You see, Toyota came on the seen years later with the Prius — a car which is even less green than the EV1. Sure, GM had tons of research showing the EV1 (pictured above) would not have done as well in cold states because battery performance would have been diminished but again — this ridiculous logic allowed Toyota to leapfrog the company as the green auto manufacturer.

According to Wikipedia, another reason the beleaguered auto maker dropped the EV1 project was because they found it easier to sue California to roll back clean vehicle regulations than it was to continue producing electric cars.

Too bad, the company didn’t find a green car champion the way the Corvette found a champion in Dave Hill and others.

Sorry about the digression but it makes me sad to see an American car company with such potential spiraling downward… Had GM continued electric car production it could have become the world leader once again in the automobile market.

Having said all that, it seems losing billions of dollars on a continual basis (almost $40 billion in one quarter!) sometimes serves as a wake up call to management and as such we can expect GM to work with 30 utility companies across the US to come with ways to make sure elctric cars will be successful in the US.

This will hopefully increase the chances of the company’s 2010 launch of the electric Chevy Volt (pictured below) being successful. If the company can pull this off (and it needs to in order to stay alive) it could really help GM become the first company you think of when you hear the word green.

It is also worth noting that you know a major company understands it screwed up when it has a web page titled: Aren’t You The Guys Who Killed The Electric Car? It also deserves a great deal of credit for putting up such a page.

So if any of my readers are building parking lots, homes or garages at the moment — you may want to make sure there are electric outlets around for the Chevy Volt owners of the future.

  • Andrew
    July 22, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    I am part of a campaign aimed at General Motors to become Green Motors and become a hybrid/electric car manufacturer. Check it out here:
    General Motors is falling apart, losing billions, and in jeopardy of going out of business. If we can convince them that there is a viable market for them taking drastic action to convert their cars and trucks to being the most environmentally efficient in the world, they have nothing to lose by unconditionally embracing the green movement.

  • Rich Tehrani
    July 22, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    This makes great sense — as long as oil prices stay high — and most analysts predict they will. I just hope this initiative doesn’t impact the horsepower of the Corvette too much. 😉

  • Torsten Leibbrand
    July 23, 2008 at 2:53 am

    As a German I find this topic very interesting.
    Last year I tripped over the documentation “Who Killed the Electric Car?” from 2006 by accident.
    And I wondered why this topic never made it to Germany (or at least not to me :-P). A few months ago I was reading about the plans of GM to start this again. And within 10 Years they want to become the undisputed leader in electric cars. So I am very curious about how this will go on, since Opel, a German car manufacturer and daughter of GM will also benefit from this.

  • Nikolaus Walch
    September 16, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    I don’t think they deserve any credit at all for putting up that page because they continue the same lies the movie sheds light on. The lies continue after 10 years so do you think they will ever truly come clean on what they did? The only way for GM to learn their lesson is for them to fold under entirely, that is Natural Selection. If others make a better, cleaner, greener car, let them succeed from it. If the public ever forgives GM for crushing 100s of EV1s their owners wanted to (not lease but) buy, then they will have learned nothing, and we will be guilty for letting them off the hook.

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