You probably remember the GM EV1, the first mass-produced electric vehicle of the modern era. The EV1 was available to lease between 1996 and 1999, and over 1,100 vehicles were produced. When the leases were over, GM took the cars back, and almost all were sent to the crusher, except for one or two. What you probably didn’t know is that Chevy also sold a fully electric version of its S-10 pickup truck from 1997 to 1998. See the Chevrolet S-10 models for sale near you
General Motors created the Chevy S-10 EV by taking an electric motor based on the EV1’s and sticking it into a short-box, regular cab S-10. This motor was actually down-rated from the EV1, from 100 kilowatts to 85 kilowatts, to help preserve the batteries due to the higher drag and weight of the pickup. Still, the electric Chevy S-10 could hit 70 miles per hour, which was only 10 mph less than the EV1. Interestingly, because most of the electronics came from the front-wheel-drive EV1, it meant that Chevy had to convert the rear-wheel-drive S-10 to front-wheel drive.
The initial S-10 electric vehicles came with a lead acid battery that had a range of somewhere between 33 and 43 miles — but the next year, a nickel-metal hydride battery was available as an option. This battery option was more expensive, but it gave the electric S-10 a range between 72 and 95 miles, which is actually pretty respectable for today, as it’s on par with many modern electric vehicles. Of course, mileage varied based on load and driving styles.
Chevy made 492 electric S-10s, and the majority of these were leased to fleet customers — and like the EV-1, the leased S-10 electric vehicles were crushed at the end of their lease. However, unlike the EV-1, Chevy actually sold around 60 electric-powered S-10s to fleet customers. This means that there are still S-10 electric vehicles out there, and some reportedly remain in use today. Find a Chevrolet S-10 for sale