Lyceum Group Five

Christy Dobbs
Sarah Kaminsky
Joel Pierce

Rodney Rather

English 2327 - 30530

5 December 2008

The Electric Car

Oil executives, the majority of America’s top 1% upper class citizens, not only hoard the majority of privately owned wealth in America, but possess most of the power in America as well. George W. Bush himself is involved in the oil business, which may have influenced both the war in Iraq, and the death of the electric car. The electric car, or EV1, is a product of General Motors and Saturn, was made available for lease through California in the year 1996 in an attempt to aid in the reduction of hazardous exhaust fumes. These cars were not available for purchase, however, the leases available to the consumer at $299 a month. General Motors found themselves spending more money, around $80,000, in return for the income of nearly half of what they had paid, at an average $40,000:
“A little over 1,000 EV1s were produced by G.M. before the company pulled the plug on the project in 2002 due to insufficient demand” (PBS). The insufficient demand led to G. M. selling the now unusable cars to Exxon Mobil, who promised environmental activists that all of the car’s parts would be recycled and reused. These activists followed the cars to the demolition lot to witness the actual demolition. In an effort to appease the activists, the gas companies took the recycling process to a new extreme by shredding the cars into tiny shards of metal. On the following site, you can find a preview of the well-executed documentary, “Who Killed the Electric Car?” The captivating video shows the over the top, needless destruction involved (
To thousands, the EV1 symbolized the beginning of clearer skies and healthier air. This revolutionary creation allowed for a “green” means of transportation, without having to sacrifice acceleration and good mileage: “It could travel 150 miles without using a drop of gasoline, accelerate from zero to sixty mph in about eight seconds, and handled crisply.” (US News).
The EV1 also received fantastic reviews from the few customers that were able to actually rent and drive this vehicle, loving the fact that they had no need to worry of maintenance problems. “The EV1 accelerates from 0-60 in only 7.4 seconds, and from 0-30 in 1.6 seconds. It’s enough to throw your head back and in most situations, smoke the two front wheels. It’s very smooth, for it doesn’t have to switch gears. There is absolutely no maintenance needed, except for tire rotation.” (a pleased customer from
Electric Auto Association, a website that has promoted EVs since 1967 had this to say in support of the efficient alternative: “Electric vehicles (EVs) are practical, clean, quiet alternatives to noisy, pollution spewing gasoline and diesel vehicles. Electric vehicles keep our earth cleaner and help preserve our natural resources. EVs are a smart and efficient choice for personal transportation.”
The only disadvantage to the EV1 is the time consuming electrical charging periods: “It takes up to 2-1/2 hours to charge from 20% to 80% state of charge using a 220-volt (6.6kW) charger. Approximately 5-1/2 to 6 hours are required for a charge from zero to complete using a 220-volt charger” (evchargernews). The comparison between the cost of a full electrical charge and a full tank of gas is drastically cheaper and eco-friendly.
Evchargenews, and environmental internet reporting agency, describes the cost efficiency of the EV1 over traditional fuel vehicles. “Assuming your electricity costs 10 cents per kilowatt hour, and with a 100-mile trip, energy cost for the lead-acid EV1 is 2.6 cents per mile. Therefore, a 100-mile trip in the EV1 would cost $2.60. In comparison, a gasoline-powered vehicle that gets 22 miles per gallon has an energy cost of 6.82 cents per mile (assuming gasoline costs $1.50 per gallon). For a 100-mile trip in the gasoline-powered vehicle, the energy cost would be $6.82. Using this example, the gasoline-powered vehicle has an energy cost that is nearly three times higher than the EV1” (evchargernews).
Upholding the eco-friendly nature of the car, the batteries that power this vehicle are recyclable: “The lead-acid battery pack utilizes the existing lead-acid battery recycling infrastructure, and is 98% recyclable” (evchargernews). Gasoline-powered cars are also having a devastating effect on the atmosphere. “A gallon of gasoline burned puts 19 pounds of carbon dioxide into the air” (Who Killed the Electric Car?)., or Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition, supports the implementation of natural methods of fueling vehicles. They had this to say on their website: “Require EPA to allow companies that make NGV conversion systems to use less expensive methods to comply with on-board diagnostic system-related requirements, and otherwise reduce barriers to the introduction of vehicle conversion systems that facilitate the use of alternative fuels.” The ability to implement these methods of fueling our vehicles in a less expensive and less harmful way is all about the Environmental Protection Agency taking a stand. goes on to talk about the many incentives to the natural gas and electric fueled vehicle. “In an effort to reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil, reduce urban emissions and reduce greenhouse gases, the federal government, state governments and even regional and local governments have implemented incentives to encourage the purchase and use of NGVs. These include tax deductions/credits, reduced license fees, reduced vehicle sale taxes, and lower registration fees. Some states also permit certain alternative fuel vehicles to operate in high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes during peak rush-hour periods”. There are so many financial advantages to the idea of electric or natural fuels for our vehicles, that it is discouraging that our own government is keeping us from these savings.
Natural oil is not able to be replenished and is becoming scarcer by the day, so it makes sense to search for new means of energy to fuel our needs. Based on all of the information presented, the electric car has proven to be environmentally beneficial and cost effective. The gas companies’ financial control over the oil industry in America is causing beneficial new technology to go to waste. Imagine a world where people are able to generate their own national energy. A world with no economic panic over fuel costs. A world where the skies become so clear our ozone layers have time to heal, delaying the current worry of global warming. The re-integration of the electric car into society would make this dream a reality; and it is our job as a society to not stand by and wait for another generation to act, but to act ourselves, and do what needs to be done. We need to not let the oil tycoons and OPEC fool us into cheaper oil prices for a short amount of time, but stand up and demand more fuel efficient vehicles, and demand them now.

Work Cited

Paine, Chris. “Who Killed the Electric Car?” A Sony Pictures Classic Release. 2008. <>.

Kolodziej, Richard. “Summary of Legislative Proposals to Advance the Market Penetration of Natural Gas Vehicles” 1 Mar. 2007 <>

Laski, Walter. “Mission Statement for the Electric Auto Association”. Home Page. 1967. <>.

“Why Not Revive the EV1?” US News. 30 June 2008. 15 November 2008.

“FAQ.” EV charger news. 2001. 15 November 2008.

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