1996 General Motors EV1
Electric cars are making history—and not for the first time.
Last weekend, we featured an electric car from a forgotten era, the (very early) 1960s.
Electric cars from 35 years later grabbed the public imagination after the movie “Who Killed the Electric Car” turned General Motors into a villain and its EV1 electric car into a celebrity.
Baker Electric Antique EV
More modern electric cars such as the Nissan Leaf, and Teslas have become well known.
Many even know that electric cars were popular 100 years ago for being clean, quiet, and simple to operate, until Charles Kettering, a GM engineer, invented the electric starter motor for gasoline cars and the rest is history.
Few know that there were other efforts to build electric cars in between. Upstate New York limousine and hearse builder Henney built 43 Kilowatts, based on the contemporary Renault Dauphine in 1959 and ’60 at the behest of an electric company and a battery maker.
All these cars are taking their place in history, since they laid the groundwork for the development of modern electric cars, which many automaker CEOs have said they expect to be the future of all cars.
1960 Henney Kilowatt [for sale on Hemmings]
That led us to wonder which era’s electric cars people might find the most collectable. Enthusiasts of means have always collected cars that introduced new technologies, and electric cars are unlikely to be any different.
So our Twitter poll question for this week is: Which classic electric car (or truck) would you like to restore?
We have a choice from each of those electric car eras:
Which classic electric-car car (or truck) would you like to restore?
— Green Car Reports (@GreenCarReports) May 7, 2019
– A 1909 Baker electric, from the brass era, as popularized by Jay Leno, who has one in his collection that he often drives around the Hollywood Hills.
– The 1960 Henney Kilowatt, as we featured on Sunday.
– The 1996 GM EV1, perhaps the most iconic electric car ever, though GM left relatively few in existence after it crushed most of them, and saddled the remainder with contracts forbidding them from being made operational again (not that has stopped a few owners.)
– And a 1998 Ford Ranger Electric pickup, several of which have appeared for sale in recent years and garnered interest from EV enthusiasts, because, well, electric pickups now seem all the rage.
So click on over to our poll and let us know what type of historic electric car you might like to have in your garage.
As always, remember that our Twitter polls are unscientific, because of low sample size, and because our respondents are self-selected only from among our own readership.