Historic Procession & Funeral for the EV1

Celebrities, Owners, Environmentalists and Health Groups
Memorialize Zero Emissions Vehicles
at Hollywood Forever Cemetery

(see links below for Los Angeles Times article and more info)

The EV1, the first modern electric car to go into production, is being reclaimed by General Motors in the wake of California's decision to drop its Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) mandate. Despite the cars revolutionary design, performance, eco-friendliness, low maintenance and popularity, EV1s must be turned in as their leases expire and will disappear from the roads by the end of summer.

On THURSDAY, JULY 24TH, electric car drivers plug their EV1s in one last time at the LA DWP charging station in downtown Los Angeles before following a hearse to Hollywood Forever Cemetery for a funeral procession and farewell tribute. This historic final parade of remaining EV1s is being documented by a film crew; drivers are dressed in black.

In 1990, in a continuing effort to improve air quality, the California Air Resources Board introduced the Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) mandate. This regulation required a certain percentage of all cars offered for sale in the state be powered by electricity or alternative fuels by the end of the decade: 2% by 1998; 5% by 2001; 10% by 2003.

In 2001, auto manufacturers sued, arguing the mandate conflicted with the federal government's sole right to regulate fuel economy. The Bush administration filed a brief siding with Detroit, and a federal court agreed, ruling the ZEV mandate could not be enforced. Soon after, General Motors cancelled its EV1 electric car program; GM Manager Dave Barthmuss says the company could not afford to lose any more money on it.

To express their frustration with GM's decision, electric car owners organized the funeral for the EV1 to bid farewell to their beloved cars and to raise awareness for the advantages of zero emissions vehicles. Hollywood Forever Cemetery enthusiastically agreed to host this unique event which includes celebrity EV1 owners, environmental and heath groups, inventors and designers of the original car from AeroVironment and AC Propulsion, and other special guests.

Long-time environmentalist and "Baywatch" actress, Alexandra Paul, had for years driven cars converted to run on electricity when in December of 1996 she leased "car #37" -- the first non-demo EV1 off the assembly line. "Finally we were moving into the 21st Century," she says. "Now it seems like we're moving back to the 19th!"

Even with thousands of names on waiting lists for these cars, and millions of tax-payer dollars invested in charging stations, few Americans will ever be able to use this technology. (GM has said the only EV1s left will be in museums or in limited testing facilities.) At a time when ozone levels are increasing (in part due to the proliferation of SUV/trucks,) global oil reserves are projected to run out by the middle of the century, and undeveloped fuel cell technologies are not likely to be commercially viable for decades, the electric car revolution is being quietly cancelled.

Says film producer and former self-described "car hater," Chris Paine, "It's insane that an incredible advance like the EV1 commuter car has been pulled from the roads before most people ever had a chance to drive one. California politics and automakers get the credit for creating these magnificent cars but they also get the blame for killing them when they are needed most."

Come see the final operating EV1s and hear the story of the future that could have been.

Hollywood Forever Cemetery

6000 Santa Monica Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90038

Thursday, July 24th - 11:00 a.m.


For more info

Ed Begley Jr. ("Six Feet Under"
Alexandra Paul ("Baywatch")
Hart Bochner ("Die Hard")
Peter Horton ("thirtysomething")
Ellen Crawford ("ER")
Coalition for Clean Air
Earth Communications Office
Sierra Club
Physicians for Social Responsibility
Earth Resource Foundation
Inventors, designers and engineers including:
Paul MacCready / AeroViroment

inventor of the Gossamer Albatross
(the pedal-powered plane that flew across the English Channel)

Alan Cocconi / AC Propulsion

engineer of the drive train, regenerative breaking

designer of the tzero electric sports car

Wally Rippel / AeroViroment

"The father of modern electric cars" who first conceived of the EV1

Alec Brooks / AeroViroment

head of the EV1 project; inventor of the Flying Fish

(world's fastest human-powered boat)

Drivers of GM EV1s, Toyota RAV4s, Honda Pluses & other EV's

EV Rental Cars

(and many surprise guests)

click here to email
(or leave message at 310.399.2259)

"Drivers Find Outlet for Grief Over EV1s:
GM is reclaiming its electric cars, so fans conduct a mock funeral..."

L.A. Times EV1 funeral article

ABC TV 7 Eyewitness News video clip and
official letter from GM about cancelling the EV1 program...

EV1 Club website

"When a local actor falls in love with the EV1,
little does he know he's about to enter GM's twilight zone..."

Peter Horton's L.A. Times article

Two U.S. energy experts cast more doubt
on a push to develop hydrogen-powered cars..."

WIRED article on Fuel Cells

Washington Post - Automakers Have Pulled the Plug on Battery Power
The Electric-Car Slide