John Wayland’s drag racing electric Datsun, White Zombie, has graced these pages many times before. But Wayland is currently undergoing a project of a different kind, sourcing parts from GM’s original electric car, the EV1, and swapping them into a Honda Insight hybrid. The resulting car Wayland calls the Silver Streak, could go as far as 400 miles on a single charge.
The epic saga of the GM EV1 has been cataloged in the documentary “Who Killed The Electric Car?”, but to recap; after leasing over 1,000 EV1s to customers, GM took the cars back and crushed all but a few of them. The survivors were then deactivated and sent to museums and universities to study. A couple of EV1s have been restored, and are even driving around, as reported in this Plug-In Cars article, an undertaking that required quite a bit of reverse-engineering.
But even cooler is Wayland’s side project, which utilizes the shell of the Honda Insight, America’s first mass market hybrid car. Wayland is using the Insight shell, which even with a drivetrain weighed just 1,800 pounds, as the basis for his EV1 resurrection. Wayland is using the EV1’s transaxle and motor in the Insight, while utilizing more modern lithium-ion batteries from Dow Kokam. The project has been in the works since 2011, and is about 80% complete so far. It is expected to make its road debut in August or September, according to Wayland.
The 71.5 kWh of batteries should be good, according to Wayland’s estimates, of up to 400 miles on a single charge. Wayland says he is “flipping the bird” to GM for how the original EV1 program ended, and his project shows how far along EVs might be had GM not abandoned them so soon. The spirit of the EV1 lives on in this awesome little project.
Source: Plug-In Cars