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The Car That Could: The Inside Story of GM's Revolutionary Electric Vehicle
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The Car That Could: The Inside Story of GM's Revolutionary Electric Vehicle

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  17 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Unprecedented secrecy surrounded the early development of General Motors's Impact. Shnayerson watched the story unfold from a position of access never granted a reporter before--literally from the inside of the pace-setting GM Impact program. This is the first book to penetrate the silence surrounding GM's risky and successful decision to become the world's first mass prod ...more
Hardcover, 295 pages
Published June 30th 1998 by Random House (first published August 27th 1996)
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I thought this to be a great inside look at the workings of General Motors while they try to create the nation's first marketable electric vehicle. I found the authors pace to be good and the story engaging, especially for a book about engineering.

While reading it, one really begins to appreciate the technical challenges that were a part of this project, and the amount GM spent to try to make it happen while the company itself was in bit of financial mess. It also shows GM to be less of one mass
Dec 28, 2007 Nicko rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Environmental Hybrids
The story follows a group of people who were lucky enough to be chosen as test “owners” for General Motors’ limited production electric car, the EV-1. They fell in love with the fast, quiet cars, and felt that they were on the leading edge of a new wave in automotive technology. But then GM started behaving strangely. It was as if they didn’t want these cars to succeed. They wouldn’t let the drivers of these cars buy them, despite strong interest in owning them. Around this time the SUV was gain ...more
Resulting in the only detailed history of the General Motors EV-1 program, author Michael Shnayerson was given access to the team during the development process. As one might expect the story of an electric car being produced by the world's largest automaker takes some twists and turns. The project was announced by one CEO in 1990 just as he retired and left the company, the project slowly died, and then was revived to meet the California Zero Emissions Vehicle regulations, and finally killed wh ...more
Butch Byers
Lots of interesting facts about the professionals associated w the original electric car, but a little disjointed....
Robert Luebke
I thought that the book "The Car That Could" would probably be technical and somewhat boring. However, author Michael Shnayerson made the book read like a best selling novel. I was surprised how interesting it was, I couldn't put the book down, read it in two days.
Totally amazing that the Impact was finished considering the constraints placed on the engineers designing this car, the glitches and setbacks, and the politics involved in both GM upper management and possible legislation mandating ze
Jay Brookes
This book tells a story often unknown or forgotten- and an important story. If you like this book I would also recommend another recently published book on the topic, "Two cents per mile" by Nevres Cefo.
Joshua Rohloff
Regardless of what killed the EV1, this book does a good job chronicling the success and struggles of GM and what made the Impact possible.
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