Electric Car Removed from Smithsonian, Replaced by SUV

Illustration for article titled Electric Car Removed from Smithsonian, Replaced by SUV

Is it a case of bad timing, or is it a little fishy that just a week before the documentary critical of GM, Who Killed the Electric Car? is to be released that one of the few examples of the EV1 electric car in existence has been removed from the Smithsonian's Museum of American History by its curators? Prototypes of the EV1, called an "engineering marvel," were the only mass-produced electric vehicles ever to hit the highways and byways of the US, and the leased cars were inexplicably removed from circulation and destroyed by GM.

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The EV1 will be replaced at the Smithsonian by an SUV, the robotic VW Touareg designed by Stanford University. Is it a coincidence that GM is one of the largest financial supporters of the Smithsonian, and its EV1 was mysteriously removed from that museum on the eve of the premiere of this GM-critical documentary? Hmm. Just asking.

Smithsonian Kills the Electric Car [treehugger]

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DISCUSSION

Economic factors certainly play a role, but ideological factors and vision are also important.

If Toyota had stopped investing in hybrids in the mid 90s because gas was cheap, the early cars were too pricey and they expected low volumes, they'd never have gotten anywhere. All new techs start out as low volume and expensive. If you stop at that point, of course you'll never get anywhere.

As for GM, they are losing money on many of their regular cars, so it's not like losing money is such an aberration for them. I'm sure that right now they wish they had kept pushing and developing the technology, at least as a way to make the GMC turn signal and to regain some credibility and have something ready in a few years when demand increases.