Back a few years ago when California was mandating zero-emission-vehicles with a hard deadline, the automakers came forth with a few models. As a rule the automakers did a piss-poor job of marketing them, but even so there was huge demand for the cars (long waiting lists, etc) but the automakers built very few of them. The cars were, generally, only available on lease arrangements though in a couple cases the automakers sold the cars outright.
The recent story has been that the cars which went off lease were not released to anybody, and have been crushed (in many cases). Yup, the beautiful EV1 made by General Motors, they’ve all been crushed.
But the EV lovers have been protesting the crushings, and have managed to save some of the vehicles.
Ford Shedding Electric Trucks (July 20, 2005 — By Thuy-Doan Le, Sacramento Bee)
In this case it is Ford’s Ranger EV. The anti-crushing protests got Ford’s attention enough that the current and former lease holders are being offered a chance to buy the vehicles. More information will be here: http://www.rangerevlottery.com
A few years ago I got to test-drive a Ranger EV, and it was very fun. Okay, so it’s a light pickup truck so there’s limits to the “fun” you can have with it. But it worked very well, was very responsive, etc. I’m hoping against hope myself that I’ll get a chance to buy one, but there’s only a few trucks and many former leaseholders ahead of me.
At the time I test drove one, it was at a meeting of a local chapter of the Electric Auto Association. A Ford dealer came to demonstrate the truck, and of course hoping to make a few sales.
Something he mentioned was very interesting. One place he’d sold a few trucks was a local prison. It seems the prison guards loved these trucks because it enhanced their job. Being an EV it’s very quiet, allowing them to drive around the perimeter doing their guard job without being as noticable as when driving a noisy clanging gasoline-driven truck.
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