My Car Quest

January 18, 2020

1966 GM Electrovair II Electric Car – Why Did They Stop?

by Mike – 

In 1966 General Motors experimented with an electric car based on a 1966 Corvair called the Electrovair II. It was powered by a silver zinc battery pack producing 532 volts located in the front and the rear.

Silver zinc was chosen because it delivered high peak power but the batteries wore out after 100 recharges and were expensive. The batteries powered a 115 horsepower AC-Induction motor that produced about the same performance as a gas powered Corvair except that the range was only 40-80 miles. The top speed was 80 MPH.

The Electrovair II weighed 800 pounds more than a regular Corvair and there were gauges on the dashboard for monitoring volts and amps.

This was just an experiment but one has to wonder where would they be if GM had continued developing electric car technology since 1966?

These pictures were taken at the Marin Sonoma Councours d’Elegance on May 15, 2011 by Michael Menetto.

Click on the images for a larger view.

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  1. Here is the problem, man are very selfish and only cares about money, oil has made alot people millioners all over the worl, so every time some one try to bring a new technology, they shot it down! We can have veicles that dont need gas, there is something call "the surge technology" basically is a car powered by magnets! and this is a old technology! Eletric cars are also old, the first electric car was maid in the early 18 centure! Plus all other vehicles move by natural gas , water! but think about it… if we all have cars that does not need gas the oil masters will lose their money and power! It's a war that in the end who really gets hurt is our planet with all the pollution that our cars create! We all will have to face the consequences of our acts!

  2. Mike Gulett says


    Let's hope that car companies have learned that we need a better solution because we will run out of oil.

  3. My family had a Monza Corvair when I grew up, it was a good car with lots of room, so I can understand why they tried this with the Corvair. In the early 1900’s Baker made electric cars that could go 60 miles, today the Volt and Tesla can go 30-60 miles on a charge, things haven’t changed that much. I am glad there is still a lot of oil left.

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