The EV1 was the worlds first true Electric car.
There was always a waiting list for the 465 1999 EV1 Electric cars, even though they were only leased and cost $500 per month plus 50 cents per mile. GM did not allow anyone to buy an EV1. NO other model was confiscated and destroyed like this, even alleged mistakes like the Corvair and Edsel, which are still on the road and still have car clubs and fans.
Electric cars charge up overnight, using off-peak electric power. Electric cars are so efficient, we could easily eliminate more than 40% of our gasoline usage just with existing off-peak electric capacity
These clean cars could have been sold for $25,000 each, cash, no rebates to loving buyers. Instead, GM crushed and then shredded them, sending the remains to the foundry.
The weak point of an Electric car is the batteries. GM bought control of the advanced NiMH batteries needed for all plug-in EVs but showed no intention of improving them or perfecting them.
Toyota, working to meet the Zero Emission Vehicle mandate, set up a production line in 1997 for the "large-format" EV-95 batteries needed for their Toyota RAV4-EV.
These EV-95 NiMH batteries, after years of research, were perfected for EVs:
1. Deep Cycle, no memory effect;
2. High energy output for acceleration;
3. Long lifetime, longer than the life of the car -- even a Toyota car.
Toyota's EV-95 batteries are still running Toyota RAV4-EV cars more than 20,000 miles per year, and for over 100,000 miles so far. But no more EV-95 batteries can be made, after Chevron sued Toyota.
GM sold control of the worldwide patent rights for the NiMH batteries to Texaco, which then merged with Chevron. Chevron oil, the successor to Standard Oil of California, thus worked with GM to eliminate the batteries needed for plug-in EVs, similar to how America's small urban commuter railroads were bought up by the same surprising buyers. But the railroads were dismantled, the right-of-way lost to the public domain, just as the NiMH batteries are now unavailable to run EVs that can replace our oil addiction.
Chevron's subsidiary sued Toyota, Panasonic and all other battery makers, forcing a settlement agreement and $30,000,000 payment from Toyota to Chevron's subsidiary. Toyota's NiMh production line was closed down, and no more EV-95 batteries are available for any purchaser at any price.
Toyota closed down their production line, and the batteries which power the RAV4-EV or the 1999 EV1 are no longer available. Chevron's patent rights don't expire until after 2014.