The story of the GM EV1 has been told so many times that almost anyone with the slightest passion for cars or technology knows all there is to know about it.
The fact that GM rounded up every EV1 and crushed them also made the car a popular topic among conspiracy theorists, especially after the 2006 release of “Who Killed the Electric Car?” documentary film.
According to the official story, all 1,117 leased EV1s were pulled off the road and destroyed after the project was declared a failed experiment. As it turns out, there may be at least one that has escaped the crusher, though. Last week, Twitter user Jacob Hoyle posted three photos of a seemingly abandoned GM EV1 in an Atlanta parking garage. “Found an EV1 today,” he casually tweeted, as if he were talking about a first-gen Chevy Volt or something.
— Jacob Hoyle (@JacobonScience) December 5, 2019
We came across the tweet via The Drive and it triggered mixed feelings. On the one hand, we were happy that a GM EV1 still exists and appears pretty much intact, bar from the flat and rotted rear tires and the thick layer of dust that has turned it into a message board for teenagers. The high-riding front end could indicate that the battery pack and drive unit are missing from the car – hopefully dismantled by the owner to protect them.
On the other hand, we were disappointed that someone would abandon one of the most significant cars in the history of the automobile in a public parking garage where it risks getting damaged in an accident. Who does that?
Well, an educational institution in Atlanta does, because this car is one of around 20 EV1s General Motors is said to have taken back from lessees to donate to museums and schools. Those cars had their powertrains deactivated and the institutions agreed not to fix their EV1s or have them driven on public roads.
This red EV1 belongs to an unnamed Atlanta university where the parking garage is located. We don’t know why they don’t take better care of their prized possession, especially since very few of the donated EV1s remain in one piece. Many of them were taken apart by engineering students, with their parts used for experimental projects.
Fewer still remain in museums and only one is in private hands, owned by renowned director Francis Ford Coppola who told Jay Leno he hid it from GM in 2003 because he loved it too much (see video below).