GM’s EV1 is something of an automotive legend these days, with stories of unrestricted cars accelerating to nearly 300 km/h coming fast and hard from the mouths of the true believers. Most of the cars were crushed, however, in a move that many believe was motivated by corrupt government officials colluding with crooked oil company lobbyists. Today, less than 40 EV1s are believed to exist, and most of those are tucked away in museums … imagine our surprise, then, when news broke that not one, but TWO unknown examples of GM’s automotive unicorn had been discovered in China!
The first EV1 is a blue-green model that was found in China’s “National Electric Vehicle Experimental & Demonstration Area”, a government-owned center for the advancement of Chinese EV technology. Established in 1998, the facility is still fully functional today, importing several foreign examples of plug in cars for testing and
outright copying reverse engineering.
The second car, a red EV1, is located in the Shanghai Auto Museum. The museum says it was a gift from the General Motors Heritage Collection, but it’s worth noting that both the red and the blue-green cars are fully functional “runners”, unlike the rest of the museum cars scattered throughout the world. Those cars are “rolling chassis”, which is to say complete, except for engine and transmission. As Car News China puts it, “it seems unlikely a test center would accept a deactivated powertrain, so it seems more likely China got it hands on two working examples in another way.”
My sister has a field day trophy she got in another way, too- and I’m sure it was gained just as legitimately as these two EV1s were. Wink, wink.