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 Find out and comment on why GM was forced to kill EV1

"Chevron controls the worldwide patent rights for NIMH batteries used in the RAV4-EV, and won't allow their use in EVs."

Unfortunately, plug-in hybrids are forced to use lead-acid or lithium batteries, and it's no accident. Electric car batteries must be able to put out enough power to run the EV without an engine, be able to "deep cycle" for acceptable range (over 100 miles on a charge), and must have long "cycle life" of at least 1000 to 2000 fill-ups (over 100,000 miles, and usually over 200,000 miles, before the batteries need replacement). > >>

The existing and proven EV-95 NiMH battery from Panasonic, which lasts longer than the life of the car, has adequate power for acceleration without an Internal Combustion ("IC") engine, and can drive an EV at 80 mph for up to 120 miles, went into production in Jan., 1997. These batteries are powerful enough to run an EV from start to 80 mph and for over 100 miles, and have cycle life of at least 1500 -- over 150,000 miles before they need replacement> >>

Prototype Impact, delivered by Sunraycer team for $3M budget in 1989
Prototype EV1 named "Impact" delivered in 1989 for a budget of about $3M.
This is the Electric car GM CEO Roger Smith drove into the L.A. Auto Show, although
many others were involved in its creation including AeroVironment, John F. Smith, Robert Stempel, et al.

California's 1990 ZEV mandate forced GM and other auto makers to produce Battery Electric cars such as the GM EV1. GM purchased control of the patents from the inventor, Stan and the late Iris Ovshinsky, in 1994 forming "GM Ovonics" under the guise of going into production with the EV1. But GM's Andy Card had been fighting Electric cars for years, and GM's true intention became apparent when on Oct. 10, 2000, GM agreed to sell their control of the EV batteries to Texaco. Less than a week later, on Oct. 16, 2000, only days after Texaco acquired control of the batteries, Chevron agreed to purchase Texaco in a $100 billion merger. Chevron announced the merger even though the GM sale of the batteries to what would become Chevron did not close until July 17, 2000. Perhaps Chevron wanted this sale to be announced prior to the merger so it would not look like Chevron (formerly Standard Oil of California) worked directly with GM. > >>

GM and Chevron collaborated with Toyota-Panasonic in such a way that these batteries were killed, and no such NiMH batteries are available for EVs. Chevron, awash in oil profits, assets and cash reserves, claims that "it's a chicken and egg problem" of "no demand", but that does not explain why they sued Panasonic, extracting $30,000,000. Shortly thereafter, the EV-95 line of proven, NiMH batteries still running in the RAV4-EV was shut down and killed, and the batteries cannot be sold or imported into the USA, according to one Toyota spokesperson. Only a few used EV-95, salvaged from crushed vehicles, are available, and those only for warranty replacement on existing RAV4-EV. Toyota won't sell even these used batteries to EV converters, who need long-lasting, reliable batteries and can't get them.

"A senior Chevron executive was quoted off-the-record as saying that Chevron was determined not to go down the BEV path again and never to let that happen again in the automotive industry, at least not with NiMH batteries." Chevron, by virtue of its purchase, apparently wants cars to be powered by gasoline and not by NiMH batteries large enough to drive cars from electric plug-in power.
> >>

Chevron's unit that controls the patents, cobasys, refuses to sell their version of the battery unless, they say, they get "a large OEM order". Apparently, they also refuse to let anyone else sell it, either> >>

Auto and oil industry detractors -- "oilliars" -- claim that "the batteries are not ready" for a plug-in Prius. They hope you don't know about the existing, still-running 2002 Toyota RAV4-EV, which operates entirely on batteries with no help from any Internal Combustion ("IC") component. It's easy to add a small engine-generator to this proven EV, and have an instant plug-in hybrid that runs like an EV for 100 miles, and then relies on the generator (like a diesel-electric locomotive, and they are very powerful). Over 1000 RAV4-EV are running far over 100,000 miles with EV-95 NiMH deep-cycling as the only power source for the RAV4-EV> >>

A real Plug-In Serial Hybrid is an Electric car, with a powerful electric motor as its only source of motive power, and with batteries capable of normal driving in EV-only mode for at least 100 miles. This Serial Plug-In Hybrid is just an EV with a small engine-generator for long trips or unusual occasions when you can't plug in somewhere. Similar to the Diesel-Electric locomotive, the engine's only use is to generate electric for the drive motor. >>

Phony Plug-in hybrids are of the parallel hybrid variety, where the engine is used as the primary source of motive power and the motor and batteries are just used to start off, or to boost acceleration. They work, but are still gasoline cars at high speed; even worse, without viable and cost-effective batteries, they are just another libel on Electric cars. The lithium batteries in the plug-in prius cost something like $14,000 for 9 kWh, about six times the equivalent cost of NiMH, and even more expensive when you consider that NiMH last longer than the life os the car -- even a Toyota car -- while the lithium batteries are untried and unproven> >>

The big difference is that the Serial Plug-In Hybrid allows you to run normal driving without gasoline or oil, but the phony plug-in hybrid still requires that you buy gasoline for your daily run. Guess which one the oil and auto companies will try to confuse you with? Right, they will try to push the Phony Plug-In Hybrid or, even worse, the Phony Hybrid that can't even plug in.

In all cases, the lithium batteries may not last as long as the NiMH, and render the plug-in option prohibitively expensive. AQMD and CARB must be acquainted with the need for NiMH batteries. So far, ONLY NiMH batteries are proven to be economicial> >>

Even if a NiMH pack costs $25000, and even if it only lasts 200,000 miles, that's only 12.5 cents per mile; and for those with solar systems, the electric "fuel" is free of further cost. In a pure EV or a serial plug-in hybrid, you can normally drive "oil-free". It's this possibility that seems to bother oil execs. > >>

The plug-in Prius, using Lithium batteries, still requires you to buy gasoline (the engine turns on when the catalytic converter is cold, or if the speed is greater than 33 mph, burning gasoline)> >>

Chevron and its auto company proxies can kill the idea of plug-in hybrids: obscure the issue, and bring out "dual-mode" and parallel hybrids that can limp along at 40 mph on a small electric motor for 10 miles and re-charge its batteries with a big diesel engine. They are not frightened of lithium-powered plug-in hybrids, and since they have control of and have eliminated the use of large-format NiMH batteries, they have no worries ... unless the oil party were to lose an election, of course. A responsible president and prudent Congress could force Chevron to disgorge control of the batteries, and could force auto makers to produce a plug-in serial hybrid for sale on the free market.

Oil and auto company claims that "no one wants an EV" ring hollow when the full cost of gasoline, mostly subsidized by the Taxpayer, is taken into account.


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One thing to note:
Patents EXPIRE. 20 years from date of invention.
If the battery went into production in 1997, the patent predates that. So it expires before 2017.

The patent is therefore no obstacle long term (or even medium term). by Anon. 10/09/2007 20:10

There are thousands of patent purchases that have been purchased or stolen from inventors that would have improved people's lives in the world (not including the earth's damage). The US Government now classifies over 4000 patents as national security risks. These patents are mostly to keep oil companies and the profiteers on the stock market in business and reaping (raping the public) trillions of dollars profits and ill-gotten gain. ICE vehicles are going to have to be modified by the owners and I see the technology as a viable solution in the very near future (months). The electric car has been developed as an alternative since the 1930s. Inventors were threatened, harrassed and even killed to stop patents and manufacture. Convert older autos and leave those gas guzzlers on the dealer's lots. Don't be fooled by some of the companies touting their conversion packages; do your own research to see what high frequency, low current, driving methods and also the Bedini charging systems are all about. Save all information available on the internet; don't be afraid of foreign research as some of the best ideas may come from those sources as well. I will guarantee you that a true electric rechargeable will not come to the US any time soon as oil greases most Senator's, Representative's, etc. pockets. The oil monolopy will topple the world's economies to stop this expansion. I hope Tesla Motors will buck the trend and make a low-cost model for average income families. I hope we can switch from fossil fuel or even ethanol vehicles before it is too late for the earth. We need to all stand up together and say no to oil except for plastic products for everyday use; we do not need oil to power the automobiles of the world. We would not need to wage an endless WAR for oil resources to enrich a few families in the world. by Steve R. 09/07/2007 18:07
DEMAND FOR OIL,CANOT COME WITH OUT GULT. by steve margossian 08/06/2007 14:37
here is a cure for the problem sell all your stocks in oil company sell all stocks in auto company and parts stores hit them were it hurts there money supply dont buy new cars let them set on there lots vote all goverment congres senate and rep out put new people in dont buy hybrids they use oil gas if all people of the usa would band together we as a group can and will make a difference send a strong message sell your stocks make there stocks worthless crash the markets stop the money help put them out boycott all races nascar moto air shows car shows horse and dog tracks and all sport events air travel ship travel stay home spend no money one to three weeks or months of this action would make a change for the better by a w taytor 07/31/2007 8:36
Have any of the major Presidential candidates spoken against Chevron or called for congressional hearings? by Spencer 07/27/2007 20:04
We have enough technology today to bring to US the batteries, pay the sue if Chevron do it and continue selling cars directly from Japan, Germany, Australia, etc. and then to Continental USA and its territories. And forget Chevron is history... by Nomar Martinez, B.S.E.E. 07/10/2007 6:02
I built an electric vehicle called Rainbow-1 in 1980. I used 3 forms of power and it ran all day! My computer board used regeneration and solar along with lead acid batteries and my own charger. The alcohol back up 1 cylinder Briggs-Stratton was in the trunk for emergencies. by JERRY MCGOVERN 04/18/2007 12:39
It is quite obvious that big buisness and most governments are slowing down, or in
some cases totally blocking the introduction of BEVīs , the technology exsists now
including the batterys to build fully functional EVīs .
Here in Northern Italy there are a few small companies constructing Bevīs from
exsisting Fiat cars , the battery used in these cars are the Zebra cell Type , or molten
salt as they are also called , the 20kwh pack used in the electric version of the Fiat Panda
gives a range of 130 km at a speed electronically limited to 110 kmh , recharge time
to full capacity is about 8 hours on a conventional household supply , but a 50% charge
is realised in as little as 45 minutes giving another 60 km or so , the car has four doors,
five places , airbags , electric window lifts etc, this car retails for about 25000 dollars
in Switzerland , which is the main market at the moment .
The Zebra cell is relatively compact 20kwh unit wieghs 165 kilos and is about
the size of a medium size suitcase , the cell is to temperature sensitive with its core
being held at a steady 280 degrees centigrade , the whole thing is enclosed in a fully
insulated box , and uses a small preportion of its energy to maintain this temperature
These cars have been on the roads now for close to two years now , and owners
are reporting no decline in the batterys performance despite some cars having covered
more than 30000 kms in that time , also the maintainance costs are close to zero and
the fuel costs are about 2 euro per 100 km , as opposed to the cost at near 10 euros
per 100km of a similar gasoiline powered car .
This car is available now , it is not being advertised , probably part of the deal
with Fiat themselves to assure a supply of engineless shells , Fiat have decided not to
go down the BEV route prefering to go down the "Fool Cell " route and natural gas , but
then one of their biggest shareholders is AGIP the italien oil giant !
This is a great little car a nd is available to buy now , information can be obtained
from Mes Dea in, Stabilo, Switzerland. by andrew r rose 04/05/2007 12:37
I suspected life was being purposely retarded but my apathy led me to do nothing about it...I will not lie down a minute longer. I want my plug-in solar powered car NOW!!!! We need to get up and demand this technology be supplied to the market. This is for the good of the planet and eventually all of mankind! Once you know the truth you cannot pretend you don't know it exists! Please Consider Your Own Power To Speak OUT! by Michele 03/11/2007 17:50
Oil and Auto companies say there's no demand for EVs. Well, to create demand you one needs to show the goods first. Before "Who killed the electric car" movie I had no clue such technology existed and was available. I feel so cheated now, it hurts, it really does. We can have ICE cars for long distance trips, but for everyday transport, shopping, going to work, we need EVs. Technology is there, what's lacking is knowledge of this available technology. SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT EV AND PV TECHNOLOGY!!! by Serge K. 03/02/2007 22:36
There is no conspiracy it is right out in the open. Hello, if you drive an electric you take the profits out of the greedy corporate empire be it GM or Shell. Only a united consumer can turn the tide on this. How, a mass campaign to target GM and Shell - just don't buy it - the minute that we collectively wake up and make our voice heard they will have little choice left but to comply with the consumer. by Brad 02/15/2007 7:20
This is a shame,about the way people will take advantage of a whole country of other people in whitch is the majority by far and nothing can be done about it.It's the same with the drug companys,health care,insurance,others thing, and now this.If people can't stand up fro this it's over for the us and the world. by isaac 02/06/2007 15:37
Zinc-air has high energy density, and has been used for EV buses, but has two disadvantages: 1. Can't be recharged, must be reprocessed; 2. Does not allow bursts of power, so must be hooked to ultracap or rechargeable battery, also the only way to utilized regen braking.

So if zinc-air does not work without a rechargeable battery, does not give you the EV benefits without it (plug-recharging and regen braking), it seems futile. There is so far no proven batteries for EVs that last longer than the life of the EV other than NiMH. by doug 12/30/2006 10:56
Does anyone know if the Zinc air battery technology is a suitable alternative for the deep-cycle requirements of an electric automobile? The Zinc air battery is non-poluting and is easily re-energised. by Craig Shoemaker 12/22/2006 15:33
I am fed up with the politics of oil. Just wish good sense, a sense of humanity and good science can some day rise to the top and outstage the filthy oil empire. by michel ouellet 12/20/2006 18:35
If you bought a Prius, you're a fool. If you needed to read this article to figure out anything regarding the EV1, the hybrid engine, oil companies wanting to sell oil, you're a fool, and living with you eyes closed. As Leonardo da Vinci said, "Let him who has eyes see." by Lee 12/17/2006 11:06
why has the mainstream media not picked up on this story? unbelievable, just unthinkable. as americans, our loyalty is to the principles of this country which do not have anything to do with Big Oil's shareholders. something needs to be done about corporate greed and power in america. now. by eric 12/15/2006 8:44
Why don't people sue the pants off of the Oil companies. There are Anti-Monopoly laws. The movie industry was broken up for having a Horizontal monopoly (Owning two many pieces of businesses that added up to the final product.)
Similarly people should sue the Automakers. The California Air Resource Boards Memorandum of Understanding specifically states that the Automakers can only abandon the ZEM vehicles if there is "NO DEMAND" for them. It seems that if people are offering checks, then there is demand. by A 12/08/2006 17:37
Nothing new here same thing I have been saying for 30 years big oil rules earth. That includes us... by Jeff Beaman 12/03/2006 9:37
The car company just makes profit one time, when it's sold, plus when it's repaired. The oil company makes profit every day, when the car is used.

In this way, the auto maker is like a gun manufacturer, the profit is limited by when the machine is purchased or brought back in for repairs; but the oil company is like the ammo maker, who makes money whenever the machine is used.

That's why oil profits are so much higher than car maker profits, and why car companies will always be dwarfed by oil companies. by Doug 12/01/2006 9:35
I just bought this year a new honda crv and the year before that I replaced my car with a new civic. If there were an electric car available that had 150-200 mile range I know what I would have bought instead even if it cost more it would have been worth it. Gas, oil changes, filter changes, coolant fluid, hose replacements, all that stuff really adds up to the cost of the car. Sell me a 20,000 gas car vs a 50,000 electric, the electric would be my choice. I hear Tesla Motors is working on a sedan for 2008, I for one CAN NOT WAIT!! OMG!! Come on Tesla! Kick the crap out of the auto industry I dont care if you build in China or North Korea I'll still buy it!! by Joe 11/24/2006 13:57
to larry p. --- google "green car congress" by seattle cubby 11/20/2006 21:38
Who knew. I have been living in the dark with a bag over my head. If I hadn't got drunk this Nov 11 and slept through a perfectly good bad hockey game I would never have been up all night surfing and found this. Can anyone recomend more site where I can learn how far up my butt I have had my head on this issue? by larry p 11/12/2006 4:20
Even a modest solar system can power two EVs for normal driving, thus truly living without buying gasoline. But even if you charge your EVs off-peak from the grid, it's a lot easier to clean up the pollution from a central power plant. 97% of our electric comes from sources independent of oil, and found in America: coal, natgas, hydro, solar, geothermal, nuke, co-gen.
But for those who charge up their PLUG-IN gas-free car from their own excess electric production, it's a really satisfying way of avoiding wasting gas or oil.
An EV uses only 35 kilo-Watt-hours to go up to 200 miles, without any gasoline. That's the energy equivalent of a gallon of gas. But for the normal day's driving, say 100 miles, it takes at most 25 kWh of power, which you can buy off-peak at about $1.00 ($1.60 in California) or less than cents a mile. Gasoline, at $2 gallon, is more expensive, but the hidden, subsidized costs (oil wars, oil spills, refinery pollution, gas fires, oil debris in urban runoff (oil droplets, brake and tire lining particles, ethylene glycose, etc., etc.)-- and then there's also auto exhaust, of course. Who do you think pays for the health care costs of those polluted by refineries? Not the oil companies... by doug 11/11/2006 7:23
GM "dual mode" hybrids are part of the scam by Doug 10/25/2006 19:15


There are other alternatives: 1) When I was in college I read an article (in Mechanics Illustrated or Popular Mechanics or Popular Science - I can not now remember which) in either 1968 or 1969, about a gentleman in Florida that developed a battery powered car that went 40 mph and went 400 miles between charges. According to the article he sold the rights to a "conglomerate of oil companies" for $50 million. Certainly there is a patent that has expired and can be freely developed. 2) What is to stop anyone from forming a company to develop and build and actually sell electric cars. Find that 40 year old patent develop IT for use. Combine with photo cells on the vehicle (maybe a small windmill mounted on or under the hood of the vehicle to generate electricity as the vehicle drives down the road might be viable). 3) Note that all the auto manufactures were are acting in their own share holders self interest to not develop a product that that would have little or no residual income as it would last too long and need too few repairs. 4) The government also fears the negative effect this would have on the economy. The automobile and related industries would collapse (including gas stations and asociated convenience stores, repair centers, new and after market parts manufacturers, oil drillers and associated engineering firms, pipe line materials manufacturers, builders,maintainers etc. Let alone the entire steel industry and shipping industries and raw materials industries. The stock market would collapse and all our 401K's would go away. It would take far too long for workers to switch to other professions that would provide the incometo keep the economy rolling. These industries would have to be health care, education, housing, food production and of course government. It's a shame there is no one with the charisma, intellect, and foresight( or what ever is needed ) to gradually effect the changes (say over a 30 year more or less time frame) needed to convert the economy to one where all people's needs are cared for so that every individual can move from survival instinct to self-actualization and work or not as they desire. All of that being said, I would love to buy 100 shares at $10.00 a share in a company to build and sell electric cars ( irrespective of whether or not I ever saw a return on the investment or even any of that money again). Any one else of a similar mind set? by Stephen McElroy 11/27/2007 16:33

Li "improvements" by the baby scientists of Chevron are irrelevant. Chevron does not understand, or want, the three characteristics of an EV battery, because Chevron does not want people avoiding gas burning by plugging in. Only NiMH is PROVEN successful at the three criteria:
1. Deep cycle, at least 100 miles per cycle,
2. Long Cycle Life, greater 1000 or 2000,
3. Power to run the EV free if the IC engine. by 12/27/2006 11:57
There have been recent dramatic improvements in both LiON and Pb H2SO4 battery technology. For reasons having to do with physics and chemistry, LiON is likely to become the dominant battery technology, unless there is a really large cost difference. NiMh is obsolete already, perhaps due to the fact that there isn't much research happening there. by CHL Instructor 12/27/2006 10:45
I work for Cobasys I built almost 97% of the battery packs for the former Ev1 , I am now bulding the Bas packs for the Saturn vues.
If u guys would ask questions instead of thinking everything is a conspiracy then u shall seek the truth. Gm lost a lot of money on the Ev1 project,
NOTE: GM LOSES MONEY ON EVERY PROJECT; DOES NOT EXPLAIN WHY THEY HAD TO DESTROY, RATHER THAN SELL, THE EV1. Chevron knows the worlds oil will dry up soon so them as people do what makes sense look ahead 10 to 15 years they may have bought the most important inventions known to man , these batteries will soon be alot of diffrent aplications the money Chevron - TexacoNOTE: CHEVRON WANTS ANOTHER 15 YEARS OF OIL PROFITS; THERE IS AN ALTERNATIVE TO OIL RIGHT NOW, BUT CHEVRON WON'T RELEASE IT.
dump in the research is by far more then your goverment would do , there is alot of good things cooming ahead just be patient and ready to save money and find another cause to bash maybe lets start with world peace ! NOTE: THERE WON'T BE PEACE SO LONG AS THE USA IS FORCED TO DEFEND CHEVRON'S OVERSEAS OIL EMPIRE. by just a guy 12/02/2006 20:09
Selling such a revolutionary thing as a NiMH battery to GM on a good faith hand shake is like entrusting your new born to the big bad wolf on the promise of good behavior. Suspect: Stan the Man. Verdict: Guity as sin. Why: Money. Just like all the others. by Alejandro Quinteiro 11/21/2006 22:38
No one denies that Chevron controls the Electric car batteries. by doug 11/11/2006 8:12
No good arguments against, yet by doug 11/11/2006 8:06
Chevron and GM have done us a great favor by inspiring much battery research, and by the time they release the NiMh there will be dozens of competitors. Short-term we EV owners lose, long-term we will all win,
except Chevron and GM who will ultimately lose business, even as they deceive their stock-holders. by John 10/25/2006 20:17