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NEWS
June 28, 2000
I must respond to the somewhat misleading May 24 letter from Ken Stewart, brand manager for advanced technology vehicles of General Motors Corp. GM is fond of trumpeting how much money it spent to advertise the EV1, and then pointing to the small number of cars in service as proof of the lack of demand. This is entirely disingenuous. While the EV1 is a fine car and a technological tour de force, I'm afraid that the same cannot be said of the marketing efforts. If you take a look at the ads GM actually ran, you will notice that at no time did most of them provide any information about where to go to see the car. Customers persistent or clever enough to track down a dealership qualified to lease the car were asked to make an appointment to take a test drive.
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ENTERTAINMENT
October 16, 2011 | By Susan Carpenter, Los Angeles Times
When Chris Paine pulls his Chevrolet Volt into a Culver City parking lot and plugs it into the solar-powered public charging station, two other electric vehicles are already there: a low-slung Tesla Roadster and a hatchback Nissan Leaf. Just five years ago, the director of "Who Killed the Electric Car?" wouldn't have believed such a scene would even be possible. After Paine released his 2006 documentary about the demise of General Motors' groundbreaking plug-in vehicle, the EV1, his take-away was "a sense of loss.
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BUSINESS
March 27, 2005
General Motors Corp. can take action to help local dealers and improve its stock price ("GM Forecasts Quarterly Loss; Stock Plunges," March 17). GM has an electric car, the EV1, that has the capability of plugging in, unlike Toyota Motor Corp.'s hot gasoline-electric hybrid, the Prius. Charging up with off-peak electricity is essential to lowering our dependence on overseas oil. By releasing the EV1 for sale, GM could pay back America by allowing patriots who choose to buy one to live essentially without oil on the daily commute.
BUSINESS
May 10, 2011
Former General Motors Co. CEO Robert Stempel, an engineer who led the development of the catalytic converter but was ousted in a boardroom coup, died Saturday in Florida. He was 77. During his three decades at the company Stempel helped to develop many of the fuel-efficient and pollution-control technologies still in use today including front-wheel-drive cars, the catalytic converter, and even battery powered cars. "He was an outstanding powertrain engineer," said Lloyd Reuss, who was GM president during Stempel's tenure as chairman and CEO from August of 1990 to November of 1992.
MAGAZINE
July 13, 2003
General Motors wants to be viewed as supporting futuristic developments in propulsion systems and is constantly touting one research and development effort after another ("Peter Buys an Electric Car," by Peter Horton, June 8). But it does not want to be the guinea pig in actually producing radically new vehicles in quantities sufficient to break the chicken-versus-egg cycle. Unfortunately for GM, its EV1 design team came up with something immediately practical and desirable, and the limited production runs mandated by the California Air Resources Board put these prized vehicles into the hands of a significant number of avid consumers.
BUSINESS
June 7, 1998
I drive an EV1 myself, and I am constantly approached by people who are curious and excited about it ["Electric Car Owner Spots GM Some Ads," May 22]. What shocks me is how often people are surprised to hear the car is real, that there are charging stations all over Los Angeles and that it's not an "exclusive" or waiting-list type of car. Anyone can get one. That's where GM is dropping the ball. In the past six months, GM has not advertised the EV1 in Southern California at all. The article quotes EV1 brand manager Frank Pierra saying, "This car is not for everyone."
MAGAZINE
July 6, 2003
Actor/writer Peter Horton brought up many interesting issues in his article "Peter Buys an Electric Car" (June 8). While it was well-written and provocative, I feel the need for some clarification. There has never been any kind of conspiracy by General Motors Corp. to do away with our EV1 electric vehicle program. The fundamental reason we discontinued the program is because the full-function electric vehicle business is not viable. Bottom line: GM simply could not afford to lose any more money on it. GM kicked in more than $1 billion to, among other things, subsidize and lower EV1 lease payments, develop award-winning advertising, maintain a dedicated EV1 sales and service organization, and help establish a statewide inductive recharging infrastructure.
BUSINESS
October 24, 2010 | Michael Hiltzik
To understand the furor that erupted recently when General Motors rolled out its new electric car, the Chevy Volt, for its public debut, it pays to keep the following fact in mind: For electric car enthusiasts, GM is a company with blood on its hands. The crime was the murder of the EV1, the pioneering all-electric car GM produced from 1996 to 1999 and supported indifferently until it shut down the program for good in 2005. The killing of the electric car, to paraphrase the title of a fine 2006 documentary about the EV1, is widely seen as a major blunder by the company, and one that led to the U.S. auto industry getting its lunch eaten in the high-mpg market by competitors like Toyota.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 6, 1997
Fed up with the price of gas? Try an electric! TIM L'AMOUREAUX (EV1 owner) Los Angeles
OPINION
March 16, 2005
The March 12 story, "Vigil an Outlet for EV1 Fans," refers several times to electric cars as "nonpolluting." This assumption is as inaccurate as it is common. To be sure, electric vehicles appear to be "zero-emission" transportation. But this holds true only if we ignore the production of the very electricity that operates the cars. In fact, over half of L.A. Department of Water and Power's power comes from coal (not oil, but a fossil fuel nonetheless). One must also factor in the energy loss that occurs when transporting electricity from the production site to the charging station.
BUSINESS
October 24, 2010 | Michael Hiltzik
To understand the furor that erupted recently when General Motors rolled out its new electric car, the Chevy Volt, for its public debut, it pays to keep the following fact in mind: For electric car enthusiasts, GM is a company with blood on its hands. The crime was the murder of the EV1, the pioneering all-electric car GM produced from 1996 to 1999 and supported indifferently until it shut down the program for good in 2005. The killing of the electric car, to paraphrase the title of a fine 2006 documentary about the EV1, is widely seen as a major blunder by the company, and one that led to the U.S. auto industry getting its lunch eaten in the high-mpg market by competitors like Toyota.
BUSINESS
July 17, 2009 | DAN NEIL
In his Santa Monica gallery, Samuel Freeman displays a nifty bit of automotive art, a full-size replica of a Chevy V-8 engine made out of stained glass. But Freeman himself worships at the church of the electric car. In November, Freeman was one of nearly 2,000 people who signed up to lease a Mini E -- an experimental electric-vehicle conversion of BMW's charming, capering retro-runabout. In early June, he was one of the lucky 450 Americans to get a car -- his is No.
BUSINESS
March 31, 2009 | DAN NEIL
As Rick Wagoner rides off to whatever biz-school sinecure he's destined for, his nine years at the helm of General Motors Corp. will be evaluated in many ways and by many hands. And yet, fairly or not, auto company chief executives are best remembered for the cars produced during their tenure. People still refer to the Cadillac Cimarron as a "Roger Smith" car, and the Ford Mustang will somehow always belong eternally to Lee Iacocca.
BUSINESS
January 7, 2007 | John O'Dell, Times Staff Writer
The electric car, derided as impractical by automakers since General Motors Corp. pulled the plug on its revolutionary EV1, is staging a comeback amid lofty fuel prices and persistent worries about the nation's dependence on imported oil. GM, the chief villain in the recent documentary "Who Killed the Electric Car?" intends to announce plans for a new family of electric vehicles as the annual North American International Auto Show in Detroit begins a four-day media preview today.
BUSINESS
March 27, 2005
General Motors Corp. can take action to help local dealers and improve its stock price ("GM Forecasts Quarterly Loss; Stock Plunges," March 17). GM has an electric car, the EV1, that has the capability of plugging in, unlike Toyota Motor Corp.'s hot gasoline-electric hybrid, the Prius. Charging up with off-peak electricity is essential to lowering our dependence on overseas oil. By releasing the EV1 for sale, GM could pay back America by allowing patriots who choose to buy one to live essentially without oil on the daily commute.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 12, 2005 | Patricia Ward Biederman, Times Staff Writer
The vigil in Burbank is now in its fourth week, a period made miserable at times by torrential rains. Twenty-four hours a day, day in and day out, a dedicated group of enthusiasts has been camped out in front of the General Motors' facility here. The group includes actors, engineers, automotive consultants and just plain car nuts. To a person, they fret about what fossil fuels do to the environment.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 16, 2011 | By Susan Carpenter, Los Angeles Times
When Chris Paine pulls his Chevrolet Volt into a Culver City parking lot and plugs it into the solar-powered public charging station, two other electric vehicles are already there: a low-slung Tesla Roadster and a hatchback Nissan Leaf. Just five years ago, the director of "Who Killed the Electric Car?" wouldn't have believed such a scene would even be possible. After Paine released his 2006 documentary about the demise of General Motors' groundbreaking plug-in vehicle, the EV1, his take-away was "a sense of loss.
BUSINESS
February 4, 2001
Claiming that an EV1 is cheaper to drive than a gas-powered car is incorrect ["GM's Electric Vehicle," Letters, Jan. 28]. Jim Howard used only the cost of energy in his calculations. Cost of ownership includes depreciation, insurance and registration, and in the case of the EV1, changing the batteries every few years. The 11.3 cents per kilowatt-hour is the capped price Edison is forced to charge. The true cost of electricity is three to five times greater. ANDRIUS V. VARNAS Redondo Beach I feel compelled to make some remarks concerning electric vehicles after reading the letters on this subject.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 25, 2003 | Bob Pool, Times Staff Writer
The memorial service Thursday began with a few moments of silence as the funeral procession moved slowly through the Hollywood cemetery. And why not? All 24 vehicles in the sad caravan were whisper-quiet electric cars. Their drivers gathered to mourn the demise of the EV1, the futuristic, battery-powered General Motors automobile that was hailed in the late 1990s as the answer to smog alerts and gas shortages.
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