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PHOTO CAPTION: GM EV1 produced from 1996-1999 used technology still considered advanced.

GM's EV1: The Best Electric Car Ever?

1990's design still considered the most advanced electric car to date.

Published: 17-Oct-2011

Even today, if you want to make an engineer's blood boil, there's a good chance you can do it by mentioning General Motors' EV1, produced from 1996 to 1999. For many, the subject conjures up images of truckloads of cars being needlessly hauled off to the crusher.

A significant number of engineers, who have torn down and evaluated electric cars, see the EV1 as a monument to the art of automotive engineering. If it used today's lithium-ion batteries, they say, no electric vehicle ever made could touch it.

"When it comes to pure electric vehicles, the EV1 is still the best that's been built in the last 15 years," noted one engineer, who didn't want to be named for competitive reasons, but who has torn down and evaluated every production EV that's been made since the early 1990s. "The EV1 was a fully-developed, all-around vehicle. Today, no one has the resources to do what GM did."

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