Passenger side viewDriver side viewBack viewFront view
OwnerSteve Powers
(former owner, EV has been sold)
Owner's Other EVs1992 Ford Festiva
1993 Ford Festiva
1980 Jet Industries Electrica 007
1999 Solectria Force
1983 Mitsubishi Cordia
2013 Wheego Life
LocationAtlanta, Georgia United States map
Email email image
Vehicle1979 Plymouth ETV-1
Custom crafted, one of a kind, prototype built by the Department of Energy in 1979. Was on display in the Oak Ridge, Tennessee Museum for many years prior to my purchase of it at auction.
MotorGeneral Electric Separately Excited DC
20 HP, 9 inch, GE custom made this motor to match the performance needs of this car.
DrivetrainSingle speed, chain drive
ControllerGeneral Electric
400 Amp Sep Ex prototype Triple PWM controller custom made and tuned to match the motor and chasis. The controller was not functional when I purchased the car, so I replaced it with a dual voltage field controller and a GE EV-1 on the armature. The performance was not as good.
Batteries18, 6.00 Volt, Lead-Acid, Flooded
Batteries were developed by Globe Union specifically for this application. The capacity was similar to today's T-125. They were arranged in a T shape under the car, between the seats, and over the rear wheels. During my testing, I used nine gel-cel computer backup batteries. 84 Volt on the motor and 12 Volt on the accesories.
System Voltage108 Volts
ChargerGeneral Electric
I don't know much about the charger that was originally in the car. It was removed before I bought it. According to the spec sheet, it was 115 V and charged the pack in 6 - 8 hours.
HeaterI think it had heat, but I never used it. It did not have AC.
DC/DC Converter
Don't know.
InstrumentationBattery fuel gage.
Motor temperture sensor.
Top Speed70 MPH (112 KPH)
Speed was regulated. Top speed was set at 70 MPH.
Acceleration0 - 30 in 9 sec
25 - 55 in 17.6 sec
Range75 Miles (120 Kilometers)
75 miles typical stop and go city driving.
Maximum range tested:
117 miles at 35 MPH constant speed.
100 miles at 45 MPH constant speed.
EV Miles
Start:3,500 Miles (5,631 Kilometers)
    As of 6/4/2006
Seating CapacitySeated 4. Front seats were typical. Back seats were a little crowded.
Curb Weight3,400 Pounds (1,545 Kilograms)
Curb weight: 3400 lb
Loaded weight: 4000 lb (with 4 people)
TiresLow rolling resistance.
Conversion TimeIt took the DOE years to build this car. When I bought it in January 2004, it took me 4 months to get it back on the road.
Conversion CostIt cost the government (your tax money) over $1,000,000 to build this car. It cost me $5500 to purchase it and get it running.
Additional FeaturesRegenerative braking.
Battery watering system.
Automatic brake lock (to prevent rolling when stopped).
This car is a piece of EV history, and I am proud to have been the first civilian owner. Truthfully, it should never have been put back on the road. It belongs in a museum on display. I benchmark the performance of all my EVs based on this car. Unfortunately, it was not practical transportation and I had no intentions of turning my garage into an auto museum, so I sold it in 2004. The last time I saw the ETV-1 was when I drove it onto the trailed headed for Texas. I wonder where it is today? If any one ever runs across it, I'd be interested in knowing what became of it.

code by jerry