Out of Production

Ford Ranger EV

The Ford Ranger EV (View PDF) (Electric Vehicle) is a battery electric vehicle produced by Ford Motor Company. It was produced starting in the 1998 model year through 2002 and is no longer in production; 1,500 units were produced. It is built upon a light truck chassis used in the Ford Ranger. A few vehicles with lead-acid batteries were sold, but most units were leased for fleet use. A few persistent and interested private parties were able to obtain leases over a period of three to five years. All leases were terminated in 2003-04, and the vehicles were recalled.


The EV1 was the first purpose-built battery electric vehicle produced by General Motors (GM) in the United States and, at the time, was the only vehicle in the history of the company to bear the "General Motors" badge.

GM never offered the EV1 for sale, it was only leased under special conditions that removed the purchase option from the lease. All the 650 1997 (lead acid battery) EV1s were leased and all the 465 1999 (Nickel Metal Hydride battery, or NiMH) EV1s were leased. No more were ever built; the only question was who would lease the already-built EV1. There was never a time when an EV1 could not find a willing lessee

In 1999, the original 650 1997 EV1s were all returned to GM because of a "voluntary recall" to repair a cable from the charge port that GM claimed would lead to heat buildup and even fire.

In Dec., 1999, under pressure from the California Air Resources Board, GM released over 200 of the 465 1999 EV1s. Also in 2000, about 200 of the 1997 EV1s were re-issued to their original lessees on revised two-year leases.

Over the next 18 months, the remaining 200-odd 1999 EV1s were released, a few at a time, to selected lessees, mostly high-profile celebrities and politicians.

All EV1 leases required return of the vehicle at lease end, upon which GM sent them straight off to Mesa, AZ, where the tires and batteries were removed, they were subjected to an 18" crush, and then trucked back to a smelter near Fontana. GM charged former lessees for excess wear and for scratches on the EV1s, and insisted on billing ex-lessees for these charges, even reporting non-payment as a charge-off. GM consistently refused offers to purchase or re-lease any EV1s. All the 1999 EV1s, with the exception of a few retained in Michigan proving grounds, were destroyed. All the donated EV1s are the original 1997 version, disabled by removal of the controller and batteries.

It has recently been theorized by the documentary 'Who Killed the Electric Car?' that the EV1 program was eliminated because it posed a threat to the billion dollar oil industry. Rent your DVD copy today

EV1s crushed

EV1s crushed by General Motors only 5 years after production
Recommended movie: Who killed the electric car?

Toyota RAV4 Electric Vehicle

The Toyota RAV4 Electric Vehicle is an electric version of the popular RAV4 SUV.

Toyota Motor Corporation discontinued production of the RAV4 Electric Vehicle worldwide in the spring of 2003. The vehicle sold far faster than expected, and after just eight months the retail program was terminated. There was very little advertising, and few people knew that they were ever available. In the US RAV4 EVs were only available for sale at a relatively few selected dealers in the Los Angeles and San Francisco regions beginning in 1997.

Beginning in February of 2002, the public could buy or lease the non-polluting SUV in limited quantities at participating Toyota dealers. The MSRP was $42,000; but in California, rebates of $9,000 and a $3,000 credit from the Internal Revenue Service brought the price down to a more palatable $30,000, including home charger. This 100-percent electric vehicle (EV) can transport passengers at speeds up to 78 miles per hour, with a range of over 100 miles per charge. This was to give Toyota additional vehicles to address the California Air Resources Board's zero-emissions vehicle (ZEV) mandate, which would have required 2 percent of a manufacturer's vehicle sales within the state to be ZEV. CARB eliminated most of the ZEV requirement, substituting a greater number of partial zero-emissions vehicles (PZEVs) to meet the requirement. A Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle (SULEV) category was also added. This program requirement was designed to obtain equivalent emissions reductions by substituting less expensive and more general purpose vehicles.

Unlike other manufacturers, Toyota did not recall vehicles, destroy them, and completely terminate the program. Toyota did, however cease sales one day after the California ZEV mandate was terminated by the substitution of PZEV vehicles. While no longer sold, the vehicle is still supported and is driven daily by hundreds of lucky owners.

Honda EV Plus Honda EV Plus

The Honda EV Plus was the first production battery electric vehicle from a major automaker with non lead acid batteries. Only 300 or so EV Plus models were produced and released. The EV Plus was taken out of production in 1999. The EV Plus was made to keep up with General Motors' new EV1.

The EV Plus featured two different driving modes; regular and economy, in the regular mode the EV had much better performance, acceleration, and all around power. While the economy mode took away a lot of the power, it was used for getting the most mileage out of the EV. As with virtually all vehicles, range was significantly affected by driving style: rapid acceleration, higher speeds, and fast stops lowered the range. Careful driving in economy mode would give it a range of about 80–110 miles (130–180 km). Range: 100 miles or 160 km (80% discharge). The EV comes with a 12 V battery for running accessories, to help save power from the main drive batteries.

Since the end of the lease program all Honda EV Plus models were recovered and most of them have since been destroyed

Nissan Hyper Mini
Toyota E-com
The Toyota eCom was an electric vehicle (EV) that Toyota produced in 1998. Fifty eComs were made and stations were set up for rental. The eCom and cars like it were pulled from Toyota's widespread lineup not long after. It could run for 100km on a single charging and produced no emissions

Nissan Hyper Mini
Nissan Hyper Mini (View PDF)

The Hyper Mini released in 2000 is an electric vehicle carring synchronized motor (neodymium magnet type) and lithium-ion battery. All vehicles were recalled and taken out of the market.

Ford Th!nk City
Ford Th!nk City

Ford Th!nk City View PDF.

Citroen Berlingo Electrique

The Citroen Berlingo Electric was available to buy in the UK up until 2005. Right about the time that public interest was growing and an entrepreneur had set up a business supplying these to domestic customers in the UK, Citroen announced that they were stopping production. The Berlingo van had a top speed of 60 mph and a range of 60 miles. They not only pulled the vehicle, but removed any trace of it from the environmental section of their website.

Citroen Berlingo Electrique

The Renault Kangoo

A similar frustrating story can be told about Renault. The Renault Kangoo Electric was one of the most promising zero emission vehicles to come on to the market in recent years. Despite a wealth of information about their concern for the environment on their webpage, Renault never advertised this vehicle. You would almost think that it had never existed, but you can see a Renault document and the users manual for this vehicle here (pages 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ). The Renault Kangoo had a top speed of about 70mph and a similar range. The Kangoo also had a range extender - a small engine that extended the range to about 125 miles.

The Renault Kangoo

Nissan Altra EV
Nissan Altra EV 1998

The Nissan Altra EV was the first electric vehicle available in the United States with lithium-ion batteries. These batteries have approximately three times the energy density of traditional lead-acid batteries and 50 percent more than nickel-metal-hydride (NiMH) batteries, the current “high-end” EV batteries. This translates into a lighter car with a longer range.

The Altra EV has a range of approximately 120 miles and uses an inductive charging system for a standard recharge time of 5 hours at 220 volts. A portable, 110-volt charger was also available.
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