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 producer of the electric car. The story of General Motors' first mass-produced electric car, the EV1 (at first, unfortunately, named the Impact). This project was decades in gestation, the early dreams of pollution and noise-free vehicles taking a long time to progress beyond visionary prototypes. This was partly because of opposition to the concept from oil companies and the automotive industry. Eventually a combination of government prodding and technological advances in battery design made it possible. Schnayerson describes the supportive role of GM chairman Robert Stempel and the tenacity of a group of true-believing engineers who kept the idea alive after Stempel was ousted.
The Car That Could: The Inside Story of GM's Revolutionary Electric Vehicle