POV's Borders: Many "owners" have been sending checks
to GM to try to keep their cars, why did they only lease the cars in the first
Chris: We were offered timed leases and you had to give them back on the day
they expired otherwise you would be guilty of grand theft auto or insurance fraud
or something. They made it very scary. And so as the due dates come we've had
to take the cars back to Saturn and have General Motors pick them up there. My
car actually was once again recalled a few months ago before my lease was up
after a brake light check. I haven't seen it since but I made them get me a replacement.
But they don't really care because they know you don't have any legal right to
the car. [GM] leased the cars because they wanted total control.
You organized a mock funeral for
the EV1 electric car in Hollywood. [Watch
Video] What is it you wanted people to know about
these cars before they disappeared?
EV1 engineer Wally Rippel addresses the funeral crowd.
Actor and conservationist Ed Begley, Jr.
EV1 saleswoman Chelsea Sexton (left) and actress Alexandra Paul
I want people to know that the technology is ready now, that they work terrifically, that the range issues about how far the car can go on one charge are completely solvable now and that to wait for hydrogen fuel cell cars that are inherently less efficient than battery powered cars is a waste of resources, time and money. This is a lot like when they took away the streetcars in the '30s. It was a great technology that was disappeared because it's much easier to sell gas cars and keep profit margins high.
What has GM said in its defense?
When we organized the funeral, they told the media there was no demand for the electric car, that it really didn't work out too well, but thank goodness for hybrids. And coming up next fuel cell cars! Now we're onto hybrids, which are terrifically better than gas cars on the road and very exciting. I think for the next 10 years hybrids will take over 80 percent of the market.
what GM had to say to driver questions about the EV1.
Now that "EV Rider" has gone, what will you drive next?
I will probably get a hybrid. We're going to run out of gasoline or gas will
have to be saved for airplane travel and defense, and the oil companies and automakers
don't want to stop making cars that run on gas, so hybrids are what we're going
to have for a while. I think electric drivers are a little bit sad about that
because it's short-changed the potential our cars were showing.
There are still a few of you left driving your EVs. Do
you see any last-minute salvage?
Not for this round of the electric car. I hope GM will decide to sell these cars
after a year of having them in storage instead of crushing them, because there
are a lot of people who would love to have them. I don't think they'll start
developing them again until they have to when fuel supplies start to drop.
The Mock Funeral: Chris Paine and other EV1 enthusiasts
decided to hold a mock funeral at the famous Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Watch
the video to see some of the funny and endearing eulogies from the EV1 faithful.