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EV1: How General Motors crushed an electric car dream

Before the Prius and Tesla, came the EV1. The world’s first mass-produced electric car was launched by General Motors back in 1996 and was capable of nought to 60 in eight seconds.

However, within a few short years, almost every vehicle was recalled and crushed, and the electric car of the future disappeared in history’s rear-view mirror.

Witness History spoke to Wally Rippel, research engineer for AeroVironment, a Californian company that developed the EV1s predecessors for General Motors.

Witness History: The stories of our times told by the people who were there.


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