EV1 (GenII) vs. Nissan Leaf

EV1 (GenII) vs. Nissan Leaf

Hi folks,

So I'm looking at Nissan's attempt at building an electric car and I cannot help myself comparing it to 20th century EV1.

Here's an excerpt from Wikipedia on EV1,

1.1 "The NiMH batteries, rated at 77 amp-hours (26.4 kWh) at 343 volts, gave the cars a range of 75 to 150 miles (120 to 240 km) per charge, more than twice what the original Gen I cars could muster."
1.2 "EV1's drag coefficient of 0.19".
1.3 "GM based the lease payments for the EV1 on an initial vehicle price of US$33,995"

and regarding the 2011 Nissan Leaf, herewith some numbers,
2.1 "powered by a 86 megajoules (24 kW·h) lithium ion battery pack rated to deliver up to 90 kilowatts (120 hp) power."
2.2 Think around 0.28 (unconfirmed)
2.3 $32,780 (

I know battery technology changed from NiMH for EV1 to large prismatic Li-Ion cells and I'm guessing NiMH weighed about twice as much and who really knows what the EV1 cost since they could never mass produce it... BUT STILL it's pretty amazing how far we can in 10yrs or did we?? :) Which is why I just cannot really get excited about the LEAF although I appreciate their efforts of course.

qwk | 28 décembre 2010

I agree. The EV1 was better looking also, but it was only a 2 seater.

You cannot compare the price, as neither company is/was making a profit on the cars.

The main difference is, Nissan will sell you the Leaf and not crush them.

asblik | 28 décembre 2010

Haha... well said!

lanceseabourn | 2 janvier 2013

Although it was leased at $33k, the EV1 was an experiment and the true cost per vehicle ended up being around $250k.

lolachampcar | 2 janvier 2013

they can crush my MS when they pry it from my cold dead fingers

DarrellH | 2 janvier 2013

lanceseabourn, the EV1 cost that much because GM never tried to "productionalize" it. Rather than do that, they crushed it.

GM would probably be a significantly better company if they hadn't crushed it. Rick Wagoner (the CEO of GM) said the biggest mistake he ever made as chief executive was killing the EV1 car, and failing to direct more resources to electrics and hybrids after such an early lead in this technology.

Vawlkus | 3 janvier 2013

To this day I find it funny, and appalling, that GM was offered a couple million for the last EV1s before they crushed them, and then they needed a bailout a few years later.

FLsportscarenth... | 4 janvier 2013

I liked the EV1, it was nice for an early try. Not an ugly duckling like the Leaf and it could have lead to an electric Camaro or Corvette...

GM - such a waste

Nissan - recently experts in producing the ugliest cars on earth did the designers of the 300ZX and 240SX all retire???

Mark22 | 4 janvier 2013

Differences? The Leaf is much more practical, much more available, and there are many more on the road than the EV1 ever had.
Yes, GM screwed up big time and gave up the lead they had in technology.
I also think Nissan screwed up with their passive battery management system. I also heard they placed the battery cells horizontally in the packs?? If true, I heard that makes heat management even more difficult as heat from the bottom cell rises and is added to the heat being generated by charging the cells above it?

DarrellH | 4 janvier 2013

Chelsea Sexton (@evchels) tweeted today that on this day in 1996 GM unveiled the EV1. Too bad they weren't committed to it.

ikutoisahobo | 7 janvier 2013

To be honest, we haven't really come a long way. Automotive manufacturers have to keep up with a lot of things like airbags and safety.

A Honda CIVIC from the 90's get's you around 45 MPG EPA. Because of its light weight (and lack of airbags and other safety things).

EV1 was still lighter than the LEAF, by around 300 pounds, therefore achieving possibly higher range.

Timo | 8 janvier 2013

EV1 is also one of the most aerodynamic cars ever made, so that also increases the range. If GM would rebuild EV1 using modern battery and electric drivetrain it would beat Tesla creations for range (but not for practicality).