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GM’s EV1 - A car the world should have come to know a bit better

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Old 08-04-2006, 06:36 AM
Chuck Chuck is offline
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GM’s EV1 - A car the world should have come to know a bit better

Chuck Thomas - CleanMPG - August 4, 2006

Section I - Specs.
Section II - EV1’s today.

Section I - Features and Specifications

The EV1

Standard Features:

Cruise Control
Dual Airbags
Power Steering
Traction Control
Daytime Running Lamps
Power Windows, Mirrors & Door Locks
AM/FM Stereo w/Cassette and CD Player
Regenerative Braking with Coast down
Electro-Hydraulic Braking with ABS
Electro Windshield Defogger & De-Icer
Lightweight Bonded Aluminum Structure
Check Tire Pressure System
High Voltage Isolation Assurance
Heat Pump Climate Control System w/Pre-Conditioning Feature
Electronic Key Pad Entry/Activation

EV1 Colors available … when it was available.

Inside the EV1 Cabin

Drivers Controls - Interior Cabin

EV1 Renderings

General Features plus Chassis and Propulsion detail

The EV1 was designed with a strong sense of environmental stewardship.

EV1 is a ZEV (Zero Emissions Vehicle)
Batteries are 98% recyclable
Body Panels and Frame are 100% recyclable
Power Plant load leveling due to nighttime EV charging
97% fewer emissions then a conventional gasoline engine including the electricity generated from a coal powered power plant.

GM EV1 - General Specifications

Model1997 EV1 Gen-I1999 EV1 Gen-II
MSRP$33,995 speculated$43,995 speculated
Lease$399 per month$499 per month
ManufacturerDelphiOvonic Energy Products
Type:Valve Regulated Lead AcidNickel Metal Hydride
Number of Modules:2626
Weight of Module:18.8 kg18.3 kg
Weight of Pack(s):1175 kg481 kg
Pack Locations:T-Pack IntegralIntegral T-Pack
Nominal Module Voltage:12 V13.2 V
Nominal System Voltage:312 V343 V
Nominal Capacity (C/2):53 Ah85 A/H
Design Curb Weight:2970 lbs2970 lbs
Delivered Curb Weight:3086 lbs2908 lbs
Distribution F/R:53/47 %53/47 %
GVWR:3410 lbs3410 lbs
GAWR F/R:1705/1705 lbs1705/1705 lbs
Payload:440 lbs440 lbs
Performance Goal:400 lbs400 lbs
Wheelbase:98.9 inches98.9 inches
Track F/R:57.9/49.0 inches57.9/49.0 inches
Length:169.7 inches169.7 inches
Width:69.5 inches69.5 inches
Height:50.5 inches50.5 inches
Ground Clearance:5.0 inches5.0 inches
Ground Clearance:4.2 inches at GVWR4.3 inches at GVWR
Head Room:37.6 inches37.6 inches
Shoulder room:54.4 inches54.4 inches
Hip Room:22.5 inches22.5 inches
Leg room:42.6 inches42.6 inches
EPA Passenger Capacity:50.4 cu.ft.50.4 cu. ft.
EPA Cargo Capacity:9.7 cu.ft.9.7 cu.ft.
Type: Delco Electronics Inductive 6.6 kWMagne Charge Inductive 6.6 kW
Input Voltages:156 to 260 VAC191 - 256 VAC
Tire Mfg:MichelinMichelin
Tire Model:Proxima RR™ RadialProxima RR™ Radial
Tire Size:P175/65R14P175/65R14
Tire Pressure F/R:50/50 psi50/50 psi
Spare Installed:No; Self Sealing TiresNo; Self Sealing Tires


At 100% SOC:6.3 sec6.3 sec
At 50% SOC:6.7 sec6.5 sec
Max. Power:116.4 kW104.0 kW
Performance Goal:13.5 sec. at 50% SoC13.5 sec. at 50% SoC
At 1/4 Mile:78.9 mph78.3 mph
At 1 Mile:80.4 mph79.6 mph
Performance Goal:70 mph in One Mile70 mph in One Mile
Range:135.2 miles220.7 miles
Energy Used:15.58 kWh28.15 kWh
Average Power:5.19 kW5.81 kW
Efficiency:115 Wh/mile127 Wh/mile
Specific Energy:31.9 Wh/kg58.5 Wh/kg
Range:89.1 miles160.6 miles
Energy Used:14.58 kWh27.04 kWh
Average Power:9.79 kW 10.28 kW
Efficiency:164 Wh/mile168 Wh/mile
Specific Energy:29.8 Wh/kg 56.2 Wh/kg
Range per SAE J1634:78.2 miles140.3 miles
Energy Used:12.84 kWh25.14 kWh
Average Power:4.06 kW5.28 kW
Efficiency:164 Wh/mile179 Wh/mile
Specific Energy:26.3 Wh/kg52.3 Wh/kg
Performance Goal:60 miles60 miles
Controlled Dry:171.0 feet160.0 feet
Controlled Wet:214.8 feet158.4 feet
Panic Wet:211.9 feet172.4 feet
Course Deviation:0.0 feet0.0 feet
Avg Time @ 90% SOC:55.8 sec55.1 sec
Avg Time @ 50% SOC:55.4 sec54.4 sec
Avg Time @ 20% SOC:55.4 sec54.3 sec
Avg Dodge Neon Time:54.62 sec54.6 sec
 GRADEABILITY (Calculated) 
Maximum Speed @ 3%:79.0 mph78.8 mph
Maximum Speed @ 6%:78.2 mph78.3 mph
Maximum Grade:53.2%56.9%
Time on 3% Grade:28 min 57 sec32 min 25 sec4
Performance Goal:15 min from 50% SOC15 min from 50% SOC
Efficiency:248 Wh-AC/mile373 Wh-AC/mile
Energy Cost@10 ’/kWh:2.48 ’/mile3.73 ’/mile
Max Charger Ground Current: <0.01 mA <0.01 mA
Max Battery Leakage Current:<0.01 MIU <0.01 MIU
Max DC Charge Current:16.83 Amps13.75 Amps
Max AC Charge Current:28.96 Amps31.86 Amps
Pwr Factor @ Max Current:1.00.998
THD(I) @ Max Current:4.8%5.32%
Peak Demand:5.93 kW6.7 kW
Time to Recharge:5 Hrs 18 min6 Hrs 58 min
Performance Goal:8 hours8 hours


1. At test termination vehicle was still able to maintain required drive schedule.
2. Testing was terminated upon illumination of the Service Now TellTale.
3. As detailed in the Owners Manual, the Battery Life, Reduced Performance, Service Soon and Service Now telltales illuminated during the drive schedules.
4. On 3% Grade, this vehicle completed 67 minutes 9 seconds from 100% SOC.
5. Standing water test was conducted in 6" versus 8" identified in procedure.
6. General Motors provided instrumentation connections, including a 100:1 voltage divider and battery pack thermocouple.
7. Vehicle was removed from Test Program for one 24-hour repair period to replace a battery module.

The EV1 met the minimum EV-America requirements including all of the following:

1. Vehicle has a payload of at least 400 pounds.
2. The OEM GVWR has not been increased.
3. The OEM GAWRs have not been increased.
4. Seating capacity is a minimum of (2) occupants.
5. A battery recycling plan has been submitted.
6. The OEM passenger space has not been intruded upon by the electrical conversion materials.
7. The vehicle has a parking mechanism or parking brake as required by 49 CFR 571.105.
8. The vehicle has a minimum range between charges of at least 50 miles when loaded with two 166-pound occupants and operated at a constant 45 mph.
9. The vehicle manufacturer has certified that this vehicle complies with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) applicable on the date of manufacture.
10. The vehicle manufacturer has certified the batteries and battery enclosures comply with SAE J1766 and 49 CFR 571.301.
11. Batteries comply with requirements of SAE J1718 and NEC 625 for charging in enclosed spaces without vent fans.
12. The vehicle manufacturer has certified concentrations of explosive gases in the battery box do not exceed 25% of the Lower Explosive Limit (LEL) during and following normal or abnormal charging and operation of the vehicle.
13. The battery charger is capable of recharging the main propulsion batteries to a state of full charge from any state of discharge in less than 12 hours.
14. The vehicle manufacturer has certified the charger is capable of accepting input voltages of 208V and 240V single phase 60 Hertz alternating current service, with a tolerance of 10% of rated voltage. Charger input current is compatible with the requirements for Level II chargers and complies with the requirements of SAE J1772. Personnel protection systems are in accordance with UL Proposed Standards 2231-1 and 2231-2.
15. The charger has a true power factor of .95 or greater and a harmonic distortion rated at <= 20% (current at rated load).
16. The charger is fully automatic, determining when "end of charge" conditions are met and transitioning into a mode that maintains the main propulsion battery at a full state of charge while not overcharging it, if continuously left on charge.
17. The vehicle does not contain exposed conductors, terminals, contact blocks or devices of any type that create the potential for personnel to be exposed to 50 volts or greater.
18. The vehicle is accompanied by non-proprietary manuals for parts, service, operation and maintenance, interconnection wiring diagrams and schematics.
19. The vehicle has a state of charge indicator for the main propulsion batteries.
20. Propulsion power is isolated from the vehicle chassis and battery leakage current is less than 0.5 MIU under static conditions.
21. Charging circuits are isolated from the vehicle chassis such that ground current from the grounded chassis any time the vehicle is connected to a charger does not exceed 5 mA in accordance with UL Proposed Standards 2231-1 and 2231-2.
22. Replacement tires are commercially available to the end user.
23. The vehicle is interlocked such that:
  • The controller does not energize to move the vehicle with the gear selector in any position other than Park" or "Neutral".
  • The start key is removable only when the "ignition key" is in the "Off" position, with the drive selector in "Park"
  • The controller does not initially energize or excite with a pre-existing accelerator input, such that the vehicle can be moved under its own power from this condition.
24. The vehicle manufacturer has certified that the vehicle complies with the FCC requirements for unintentional emitted electromagnetic radiation, as identified in 47 CFR 15, Subpart B, "Unintentional Radiators."
25. The vehicle manufacturer has certified failure of a battery or battery pack has deemed to have occurred if the actual battery capacity is not at least 80% of the nominal ampere hour capacity.
26. The vehicle is equipped with an automatic disconnect and a manual service disconnect.
27. The charging system is compatible with the Personnel Protection requirements of SAE J1772.
28. Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) have been supplied for all on-board batteries.
29. The level of charge below which the batteries should not be discharged and how the controller automatically limits battery discharge below this level have been identified by the manufacturer.
30. The vehicle manufacturer has verified that the methods(s) of charging the propulsion batteries and the charging algorithm have be reviewed and approved by the battery manufacturer.
31. The charger is capable of meeting the requirements of Section 625 of the National Electric Code(NEC).
32. The vehicle complies with the requirements of 49 CFR 571.301 for fuel fired heaters.
33. The vehicle has an on-board Battery Energy Management System(BMS).


Section II - EV1’s today.

EV1’s on the road

Where are they now?

Of the few EV1’s that are still in Private and Public institutions hands, the OEM internal propulsion unit, controller(s), pack modules, and propulsion instrumentation has been removed or disabled. Rumors abound that there are still a few intact EV1’s at a GM test center in upstate New York although this has not been confirmed that I know of? Fortunately, at least one EV1 that we do know of has become an EV again although with the loss of much of what made the EV1 what it was in its day. Here is that story …

Inside Story on University of Wisconsin at Madison’s - EV1

University of Wisconsin EV1 at HybridFest 2006

By: Glenn Bower

What do you do with 50 undergraduate students in the first year of a vehicle competition that is strictly modeling? Find a vehicle for them to work on! Wisconsin received an EV1 from General Motors (GM) when they were in the process of dismantling and recycling them at the end of the EV1 lease program. GM generously donated disabled EV1's to any university that requested one. In addition to removing the high voltage batteries, GM had removed the main drive controller, the power steering pump controller, the brake controller and the body controller - they intended the vehicles to be looked at and studied, but never driven.

So in a year when most Madison students would have turned their interest to a favorite Wisconsin pastime - beer, a special group of engineering students took on the challenge of reincarnating our bright red EV1.This task would be as difficult as building a hybrid while offering new challenges to the students. This would be the first time they would be working on a charge-depleting vehicle - let alone a fully electric one.

Several veteran hybrid team members started the project in September of 2004. With no place to store or display the EV1, the rally cry was "fix it or scrap it". The first feat was creating a 380-volt battery pack. The original battery pack mounted between and behind the two seats creating a large T-shaped battery box. Removing the battery tray the first time was easy since the batteries had been removed before delivery. Upon inspection of the battery tray, one of our students had an idea. They proceeded to the battery room and retrieved a nickel metal hybrid battery originally used in the electric Ranger project that had since been donated to our university by Ford Motor Company. - The batteries fit! - General Motors had actually used an industry standard battery casing. With much anticipation, all of the batteries were uncrated and hauled from the battery room to the garage. This took awhile, as each battery weighed approximately 80 lbs. But wait, we were six batteries short - now what? Could we order them? Sure, but they were $2800 each and you have to order a minimum of 26. That's $72,800 - ouch!! After a significant amount of brainstorming, Wisconsin contacted our counterparts at the University of West Virginia (they were one of about 6 universities to have received the batteries through the Ford donation) to see if we could purchase six precious batteries from them. To our surprise, the Volunteers (West Virginia school mascot) donated the batteries to the Wisconsin reincarnation project. Now we had a complete 95 amp-hr nickel metal hydride pack - this equaled the capacity of the best EV1 that General Motors had produced.

The next major component that needed to be replaced was the motor controller. Wisconsin had a spare Solectria DMOC 445,the same controller that is utilized in our 2004 FutureTruck to drive an identical EV1 motor. The only drawback was that the Solectria was rated for 78 kW and the motor was rated for 105 kW - Tim Taylor (of Home Improvement fame) would not be happy, but Wisconsin decided that it was our only alternative. After mounting the controller and adding the appropriate speed pick-up to the original motor in the EV1, we were abruptly disappointed as the controller only made the motor hum and shake. Upon contacting Solectria and giving them the model number of both controllers, we were informed that the control boards were 4 revisions apart and that they did not know how to convert the calibration parameters from our FutureTruck controller into the one in our EV1. Frustrated and in disbelief, the team was forced to put the EV1 project on hold. Without a motor controller, the EV1 reincarnation was stalled. Then, while working with Ballard Power Systems to arrange for the purchase of an IPT (Integrated Powertrain) for our Challenge X program, Ballard graciously offered another Integrated Powertrain to Wisconsin as heart transplant for our EV1. This was a great first step as it was the same unit that would ultimately be hybridizing Wisconsin's Challenge X vehicle.

However, using the Ballard unit posed one large mechanical hurdle - the suspension/motor subframe had to be drastically modified. The original EV1 power train mounted the motor above the subframe and used an inline gear reduction to transfer the torque below the motor where the axle shafts connected. Since the Ballard unit utilizes a hollow shaft motor with planetary gear reduction and differential, the subframe would have to be widened so both would fit inside.

The Wisconsin Hybrid team had experience in aluminum structures as they have created 3 different aluminum truck frames in the last 5 years. Using stiff, heavy pieces of steel, the students created a welding jig that bolted to all the subframes critical mounting points. Next, they took a perfectly good sub-frame and cut it into 3 pieces! The new design lowered the subframes axial members to be below the main A-arm mounting point while the cross member that holds the steering rack was left in its original location. After adding several stiffeners and adding towing points to the subframe, the IPT was lowered into place.

Meanwhile, the controls group was rewiring the vehicle and reengineering the logic for the controllers that had been removed before delivery. In particular, the rear brakes are activated using a ball-screw actuator. Besides having to engineer the H-bridge driver for the motors, calibration between brake pedal position and braking resistance had to be correlated. They also programmed a PIC micro-controller to control the dash, security and HVAC. After the IPT was installed, a Freescale MPC 555 was integrated into the vehicle as the interface between the driver's request and the IPT.

With everything checked and double-checked; it was time to try to spin the wheels!!! To our dismay, we couldn't get the IPT to 'wake-up'. Although Ballard had been overly helpful in answering all of our technical questions in a timely manner, this problem could not be solved via email or phone calls. After trying for several days, it was time for a road trip. We loaded the EV1 into our rig and headed to Ballard Power Systems Inc. located in Dearborn, Michigan. The trip had a double purpose as we were also attending SAE International Congress. While at Ballard, we discovered that we had installed the IPT backwards! Since the IPT utilizes a mechanical oil pump (no lubrication while spinning in reverse), it wasn't as simple as reversing the control logic. A quick look on the CAN bus revealed an incorrect software version on the IPT controller and a record length error on a CAN message. After a couple of memory stick file exchanges, an IPT reflash, and a quick update on the EV-1 code, the unit was up and running. The EV1 moved under its own power and the reincarnation was almost complete.

We returned to Madison with a bittersweet victory: the EV1 lived but required the reversal of the IPT. During April and May, the team worked hard to correct the orientation of the IPT, incorporated some suggestions provided by Ballard and finalized the wiring and EV1 controls.

In August of 2005 Wisconsin's Hybrid Team returned to Ballard Power Systems for a final checkup. After several hours of testing and diagnosis, the EV1 was given a clean bill of health. Since then, it has operated flawlessly providing invaluable data to the Wisconsin Hybrid Team while educating our next generation engineers. The EV1 project is another example of the dedication and creativity of the young engineer's mind. This small group of undergraduate students has and will continue to make important contributions to the advancement of personal mobility.

GM’s Final Solution - EV1 Graveyard at the GM Proving Grounds in Mesa, Arizona

All is vanity

Last edited by xcel : 06-11-2009 at 04:12 PM. Reason: Added yet more formatting...
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Old 08-08-2006, 10:05 PM
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NEmystic NEmystic is offline
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Re: GM’s EV1 - A car the world should have come to know a bit better

Hi Delta Flyer,

'Great article on a remarkable vehicle!
It's heartbreaking to see these get destroyed.

As of September 2005, at least one EV1 had eluded the crusher.
This one is owned by the city of Medford, MA, and was proudly displayed at the Altwheels Festival.

The organizers of the event were requesting that GM should disable the vehicle and allow it to be displayed in the transportation museum as an alternative to the crusher. Perhaps not likely, as that would preserve tangible evidence of its existance.

I'm hoping to see it again next month at Altwheels.

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Old 08-15-2006, 06:21 PM
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AshenGrey AshenGrey is offline
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Re: GM’s EV1 - A car the world should have come to know a bit better

If GM hadn't sold its soul to SUVs, imagine what kind of EVs that COULD be making by now? Imagine an EV Aevo or an EV Cobalt? But alas, GM is going down the tubes because few people want 9 MPG land hulks anymore -- but that's all GM really knows how to build!
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Old 08-16-2006, 06:58 PM
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Hot Georgia Hot Georgia is offline
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Re: GM’s EV1 - A car the world should have come to know a bit better

So sad to see those smashed hulks piled up.

The only flaw I can see is battery capacity/weight and these 7 year old specifications only show how things have improved.
Look, they reduced battery weight by almost 2/3 and gained performance to boot!
I don't see how any commuter could be turned off by its 6 second 0-50MPH and 160 mile range, even a longer range commuter like myself.

I think the future of automotive is very bright, and I'd bet those piles of cars are saying:
"I'll be back" (Sorry Arnold)

Thanks for that info. It is very much appreciated.
Efficient drivers do it better.
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Old 08-17-2006, 06:17 AM
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philmcneal philmcneal is offline
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Re: GM’s EV1 - A car the world should have come to know a bit better

good stats and history, i thought i knew all the basics, but this was the icing on the cake
lowest lap time, highest mpg score!
For those interested in bidets please visit my web site for more details!
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Old 04-19-2008, 05:16 PM
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Aether glider Aether glider is offline
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Re: GM’s EV1 - A car the world should have come to know a bit better.

Go rent the movie "Who Killed the Electric Car". Pretty good. ton of EV1 info
Before: After:
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Old 04-19-2008, 07:15 PM
phoebeisis phoebeisis is offline
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Re: GM’s EV1 - A car the world should have come to know a bit better.

Wow-only 160 watt hrs used per mile at 60 mph.It would cost about 2 cents per mile at 60 mph!!Not bad,the Prius cost 7 cents per mile for fuel(50 mpg-$3.50 gas).

Well,the Volt should be able to match those numbers-no reason it would have more drag of RR.

GM could actually leapforg Toyota if they can sell it for $35000 or so,and if we get a decent TC.
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Old 04-19-2008, 07:21 PM
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Re: GM’s EV1 - A car the world should have come to know a bit better.

That happens to be sitting on top of my TV in its red Netflix envelope right now. I've been meaning to get it for ages. The missed opportunity viewed from today's perspective really is sickening. Not quite criminal, but that will be re-evaluated when we see the Volt in the flesh.
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Old 04-19-2008, 10:14 PM
warthog1984 warthog1984 is offline
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Re: GM’s EV1 - A car the world should have come to know a bit better.

Originally Posted by RyanDodgeRam View Post
Go rent the movie "Who Killed the Electric Car". Pretty good. ton of EV1 info
The problem with that movie is that its wrong. The EV1, like the Insight, is not a practical car for most people. The GM guy even says it straight out- 4 people, 300 miles, and a trunk is the gold standard. Add a somewhat quick recharge capability and 10s 0-60 and most people will buy it. This will cover running errands or daytrips without totally draining the pack and make it a primary car.

That having been said, the EV1 and Insight were great Bridge cars. They should have been sold as low-volume, specialized vehicles and had engineers use them to prove the next generation as true production EVs/hybrids.
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Old 04-19-2008, 10:45 PM
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Re: GM’s EV1 - A car the world should have come to know a bit better.

Originally Posted by warthog1984 View Post
The problem with that movie is that its wrong.
So those events did not happen? Automakers were making a good faith effort to make zero emissions vehicles work? Where are your sources?

The EV1 is not an Impala, but you have to start somewhere...Toyota and Honda responded to the EV1 with their hybrids - GM is just starting a decade later.
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