G.M. ELECTRIC CAR

GM ELETRIC CAR

GM TO SELL ELECTRIC CARS IN TWO STATES

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

LOS ANGELES -- General Motors Corp. said Thursday it will begin selling electric cars to the public in California and Arizona this fall, becoming the first of the Big Three automakers to get into the mass market.

The EV1

``Well, there it is. It's been a long road to getting it here,'' GM Chairman John Smith Jr. said as the automaker rolled out its nonpolluting electric car -- a sporty two-seater called the EV-1 -- at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

The EV-1 will cost in the mid-$30,000 range, plus an undisclosed amount to buy or lease a battery charger.

Its top speed is 80 mph. It has a range of about 90 miles between charges, but that can be reduced by such factors as cold weather and heavy traffic. In normal use, it's expected to travel between 60 and 70 miles.

Southern California Edison plans to have 18 recharging stations operating at stores and train stations by August.

Up to now, the market for electric cars has been limited to governments, utilities and other businesses that use fleets of vehicles.

``This is not a concept car and it's not a conversion,'' Smith said.

At a convention last month, Ford Motor Co. unveiled its electric-powered Ranger pickup and Chrysler showed its electric minivan. Neither company has said when it will begin selling them.

The state's Air Resources Board, struggling to meet federal clean-air standards in the nation's smoggiest region, had ordered that 2 percent of all cars offered for sale by major automakers release zero emissions by 1998.

After GM and other automakers complained, board officials said recently that they will probably vote in March to drop the 2 percent requirement, instead mandating only that 10 percent of cars be zero-emission by 2003.

The EV-1 will be manufactured in Lansing, Mich., and initially will be sold at Saturn dealerships in Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz.

An electric Chevrolet pickup truck will be produced beginning in 1997 at a plant in Shreveport, La., GM said. The truck, a converted model of the S-10, will have a top speed of 70 mph.

``At this point, you're talking about cars that don't go much much more than 50 miles at a stretch,'' said Kenneth Blaschke of Dean Witter Reynolds. ``And most consumers aren't willing to pay a premium for a car that does not perform as well as the car they drive today.''

The EV1


G.M., IN A FIRST, WILL SELL A CAR DESIGNED FOR ELECTRIC POWER THIS FALL

Excerpted from an article that appeared in The New York Times, January 5, 1996 by Lawrence M. Fisher

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 4 - The General Motors Corporation announced today that it would begin selling an electric car in selected areas of the west this fall...

General Motors said the new two-seat vehicle, the EV1 - the first car in the company's history to carry a General Motors designation rather than the label of a division like Chevrolet - would be marketed this fall by Saturn retailers in four Western markets: Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix and Tucson. The company also said it would market a compact electric pickup truck in 1997, aimed at a fleet market of utility companies and government agencies.

The EV1 is a production version of the Impact electric car that General Motors first showed to the public in 1990. A sleek, aerodynamic sport coupe, the Impact has been praised by road testers for its quick acceleration and responsive handling but criticized for a limited range. General Motors said the EV1 would have a range of 70 miles in city driving and 90 miles on the highway, and would sell in the mid-$30,000 range...

The EV1 is a two-seater that General Motors will begin selling in selected markets in the West this fall. Unlike some earlier, converted vehicles, it will be the first commercially available car designed from the ground up for electric power. It will have a range of as much as 90 miles between rechargings....

The EV1 will offer climate control. That has long been a stumbling block for electric-powered vehicles, because they lack an internal combustion engine throwing off heat and because air-conditioning drains a battery rapidly. Mr. Schweibold, of G.M. Electric Vehicles, said the EV1 used a highly efficient heat pump for both heating and cooling that did not require as much energy.

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