NYT+010596+-+G.M.+in+a+First+Will+Sell+a+Car+Designed+for+Electric+Power+This+Fall

NYT+010596+-+G.M.+in+a+First+Will+Sell+a+Car+Designed+for+Electric+Power+This+Fall

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January 5, 1996 G.M., in a First, Will Sell a Car Designed for Electric Power ThisFall By LAWRENCE M. FISHER The General Motors Corporation announced today that it would begin selling an electric car in selected areas of the West this fall. The announcement came just a couple of weeks after California had bowed to industry demands in abandoning a requirement that within two years, 2 percent of all cars sold in the state be electrically powered. A General Motors official said there was no incongruity between that industry pressure and today's announcement. He said the company believed that there was not yet a market sufficient to meet the 2 percent mandate. Industry analysts said that they doubted General Motors would sell many of the new electric cars and that, given the $350 million development cost, the company was unlikely to make a profit on them. But the move does give the company the right to claim that it is the first since the earliest days of the automobile to market a commercial car designed specifically for electric propulsion. The announcement also helps disarm critics who have accused the industry of dragging its feet on electric car production. General Motors said the new two-seat vehicle, the EV1 -- the first car in the company's history to carry a General Motors designation rather than the label of a division like Chevrolet -- would be marketed this fall by Saturn retailers in four Western markets: Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix and Tucson. The company also said it would market a compact electric pickup truck in 1997, aimed at a fleet market of utility companies and government agencies. The EV1 is a production version of the Impact electric car that General Motors first showed to the public in 1990. A sleek,
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NYT+010596+-+G.M.+in+a+First+Will+Sell+a+Car+Designed+for+Electric+Power+This+Fall

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