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Impact EV in GM wind tunnel
Screen capture of Impact electric car undergoing wind tunnel tests at GM's Warren, Michigan R&D center. The car would later be renamed the EV1.

Imagine the Impact

1990 GM documentary anticipates the introduction of the Impact electric car.

By EV World

Almost twenty years ago, General Motors announced it was going to build the first modern, high-performance electric car in over a decade. The video you are about to watch was produced just weeks after then-Chairman Roger Smith announced to the world on Earth Day at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. that GM was going to put the car, which it had rolled out at the Los Angeles Auto Show in January, into commercial production.

EV World's publisher, Bill Moore, came across the video on Stefano Paris' website recently while doing research for his new book entitled, "Electrifying Rides -- The Breakout Electric Vehicles of the Past Decade and the Next."

"I was looking for information on the introduction of the Impact in 1990 and found this great resource that Stefano has complied, including rare television commercials shown in California advertising the EV1, the production successor to the prototype Impact.

"The Imagine the Impact documentary is amazing in showing how far in the lead GM was at the time. What the documentary, however, doesn't tell is the story of how the Impact actually came to be in the engineering labs of AeroVironment, which was the primary contractor on the project, working in collaboration with GM's advanced design studio in Newbury Park, California. That's part of the story I tell in Chapter Three, titled, 'Gossamer Dreams.'"

EV World took the liberty of uploading Imagine the Impact to the Blip.tv web site where it was converted into a more readily accessible Flash format than Stefano's Apple Quicktime .mov format.

Sit back and prepare to be amazed at how far we've traveled and how little we've moved.

Times Article Viewed: 13308
Published: 13-Jul-2009

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