As rising inflation sent interest rates and gas prices soaring in the late 1970s, America’s automakers turned to a variety of different solutions. Chrysler decided to join forces with General Electric for a unique pure electric vehicle based on a Chrysler K-car, descriptively calling it the Electric Test Vehicle-1. It’s up for sale on eBay right now, and could be a great start to a green car collection.
The seller doesn’t have a whole lotta info on the early Chrysler electric concept, except that it is missing the original lead-acid batteries, and is now fitted with a Siemens electric motor, rather than the GE unit that came standard. While Chrysler provided the ETV’s K-car based test body, GE used off-the-shelf lead acid batteries, focusing most of their research into the electric motor thanks to Department of Energy funding.
Unfortunately the ETV project, much like Chrysler’s more recent “ENVI” electric car program, never really went anywhere. The technology was still too far from where it needed to be, and it took more than 30 years for viable electric cars to finally come to the market. There were a few electrified Ford conversions on the road, and German automakers Mercedes and BMW also pitched in on the electrification effort, only to see it go nowhere.
Though it was a failed project, the interest in green cars could make this an excellent addition to a budding green car collection. As of this writing, bidding has gone over the $3,500 mark. For a 30-year old electric K-car, I think that’s a pretty square deal. Who knows? Maybe one day, all restored and cleaned up, it could be worth even more.