The EV1 was a marvel of engineering, absolutely the best electric vehicle anyone had ever seen. Built by GM to comply with California's zero-emissions-vehicle mandate, the EV1 was quick, fun, and reliable. It held out the promise that soon electric cars charged from the grid with all sorts of groovy power sources, like wind and solar could replace the smelly old internal-combustion vehicle. And therein lies the problem: the promise. In fact, battery technology at the time was nowhere near ready to replace the piston-powered engine. The early car's lead-acid bats, and even the later nickel-metal hydride batteries, couldn't supply the range or durability required by the mass market. The car itself was a tiny, super-light two-seater, not exactly what American consumers were looking for. And the EV1 was horrifically expensive to build, which was why GM's execs terminated the program handing detractors yet another stick to beat them with. GM, the company that had done more to advance EV technology than any other, became the company that "killed the electric car."