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Note: These letters are arranged below with the latest at the top.

If there are any EV1 owners reading these web pages, we invite you to send your comments to: kodama@alumni.caltech.edu. Please specify whether or not we may use your name (or email address).

         Date:     6 June 1997
         From:     Jay Sloat
         Subject:  EV1 introduction......

I enjoyed your WEB site and believe it does a lot to help set expectations for the curious.

My wife and I were among the lucky few selected by GM to participate in the PrEVue drive program in Los Angeles where we drove an Impact for 2 weeks and filled out a ton of paperwork as a test family. This was back in Nov 1994 and if you think EV1 is a head turner right now, imagine back then before there was any press.

As a computer graphics "techie", I was extremely impressed with the capabilities of the car and got on a waiting list almost a year before the EV1 was offered for lease. I got rid of my BMW-735 with no love lost there. It was 5-6 years old and had cost me almost $1000 per month for service over the last year and a half. I was ready for a car that wouldn't cost much to maintain.

My name is Jay Sloat and I am an EV1 leasee. I am also in the EV1 club but I don't remember meeting you yet. I got my EV1 on Dec 19th 1996 and it is car 225 I'm told. I love the car and already have almost 6000 miles on it. Mine is "arrest me" red and I hold the undubious distinction of being the 1st EV1 driver to get a speeding ticket (as far as I can ascertain!).

In the city, with lots of stop-start driving, I'm getting about 58 miles per charge and about 80 on the highway. I live about 6 miles from work so I have an easy commute. I live in Van Nuys amd over the last two weeks, I've been on Jury Duty and driven my EV1 downtown each day. Since I encounter an array of driving conditions and always get home with 25% range remaining, I can definitely say that EV commuting definitely works from the S.F. Valley to downtown.

... Jay filled in more details later at my request ...

I work for Disney Feature Animation North which is next to Burbank Airport. One advantage of our new location is that I'm just accross the street from CALSTART and thus have a magna-charger within a 5 min walk from my workplace. I don't actually use it very often since I live so close to work.

... Jay wasn't keen on publishing a trouble report on his car, but in the interest of providing useful information to other owners and potential owners, he sent me the following. Besides, we're trying to paint an accurate picture of the car, warts and all. However, it's important to note that only a few owners (just Jay and myself) seem to have had major problems)...

  • On the way home from Saturn after picking up my EV1, the display began to flicker from normal to a mode which indicated the car had the charging paddle plugged in. If this occurs and you're already in drive, you can still go but the power assist for Steering and Brakes was absent making it drive like a truck. I tried to make a U-turn to head back to the dealer, but couldn't complete the turn. When I changed to reverse and pressed the accelerator nothing happened. When I went to Drive nothing happened. In my confusion I went to Park and the Emergency Brake kicked in and I was stuck with my tail exposed to traffic. Because you can't get out of Park if the car thinks its plugged in, I was screwed. Later, I was told that if I had turned the master disconnect off, I could have at least got the car into Neutral and pushed it out of the way. (Saturn replaced the charge port and the computer that sits on top of the battery packs.)

  • I've had my tire pressure light go on at least once per week. The pressure levels all look fine. This usually occurs driving on unusually choppy/bumpy roads and I think that fools the drag detection logic.

  • On several occasions, usually after the front wheels are scratching for traction, I've gotten a "Service NOW" message which remains even when I turn the car on and off. I've found that undoing the master disconnect resets it, and I'd expect any truely serious persistent flaw to be detected again.

  • I went to the golf course the other day and found that my trunk wouldn't open from the inside. I've grown so accustomed to not using a key that I didn't have and couldn't find any of my EV1 keys. Several days later I visited Saturn who cut me a new key from the VIN number. Later I learned that the problem was because there is a "valet toggle" on the trunk lid which prevents trunk access without a key. My clubs had activated that switch by bouncing around in the trunk.

My favorite EV1 story was from my wife. I should be ashamed, but I've only let her drive the car a handful of days in the last 6 months. A few weeks ago she was at a stoplight in Sherman Oaks and a patrol car pulled up alongside. They motioned for her to roll down her window and struck up a conversation.

"Does that car go highway speeds?"

"Yeah and then some. Its a pretty zippy little car"

"Want to drag?"

"Only if you give me immunity"

"Umm OK. When the light goes green"

As the light turns green the EV1 leaps forward, tires scratching for traction, and easily pulls away from the black and white. At 50 mph, she backed off and allowed the black and white to catch up and pass her (with jaws dropped and eyes bulging).

Jay also provided some comparisons between the EV1 and Impact.

         Date:     Sun, 16 Feb 1997 18:37:01 -0800 (PST)
         From:     Avi Shai
         Subject:  EV1

I am very interested in joining an EV1 user's group.

Please count me in!

Some basic "data" :

I got mine on 12/20/96. I'm no celebrity. I just went to the Huntington Beach Saturn dealership and went through the standard procedures, much like the way you describe it in your web page. I have about 1500 miles on it. I use the car just the way I used my old one. I didn't sell my old one thinking that I'll have to use it every once in a while for trips that the EV1 won't be up to, but in the 2 months I have the EV1 - that didn't happened. In the weekends we use our other car for family trips.


No problems so far. The "tire pressure" warning light did go on once. I reset the procedure and never had it happened again.

Wish list:

a. I wish the charger wasn't so noisy! Our bedroom shares a wall with the garage and we have to turn the charger off when we go to bed. That makes the whole charging issue a big deal. I do a lot of charging during peak hours. In the summer that will be kind of expensive. Any ideas?

b. How about a longer cord for the charger paddle!!

I loved your web site. The picture of your trunk looks just like mine - with a big old orange extension cord. A lot of your trials and tribulations sound very familiar.

         Date:     Fri, 24 Jan 1997 17:43:25 -0800
         From:     Margaret Cheng
         Subject:  EV1

I am leasing an EV1 also. My experience with the whole set up is a little better than yours. This might be due to the fact that I started earlier and was able to get the charger installed before 12/5/97. I have not run into any problem with the car either, at least so far. The only complaint I have is the RANGE. I also do not like the noise of the electric motor. It is a lot louder than what I expect.

Over all it has been fun and positive for me. I sincerely hope that more people will be able to get the chance to drive one.

Copyright 1997-1999 by Dave & Jean Kodama Email: kodama@alumni.caltech.edu