Historic documents* found by Logan Lawson of the Pilot Car Registry (www.pilotcarregistry.com) debunks decades of conspiracy theories revolving around what killed GM's 1960s electric car efforts. It's a long story, going to the moon and back...
Beginning in the mid-1960s, General Motors Defense Labs was heavily, and secretly, involved with the development of an electric drive system for NASA that could power the lunar rover on the Apollo 15 moon mission. This particular capability would give astronauts the ability to travel much further from the lunar lander than ever before. Partnering with Boeing later in the process, mainly for use of their test facilities that simulated an accurate lunar atmosphere, General Motors took on the awesome task of developing the drive system that went into the lunar rover chassis.
GM needed to test the drive system over long distances, effectively trying to run the system into the ground in an effort to uncover vulnerabilities. This was, after-all, to be the first "car" on the moon, taking astronauts further than ever before, and the whole world would be watching. It HAD to be right.
GMs defense labs were so secret that many General Motors employees had no idea that it even existed. GM needed a secret way to test the drive system that wouldn't arouse suspicion from prying eyes outside, or inside, GM. Thus, the Camaro became a perfect way to disguise the endurance reliability tests for this new electric drive system. No one would raise an eyebrow at the site of "reliability testing" scheduled for an F-Car chassis, so arrangements were made in the early months of 1966, to borrow four Pilot Prototype Camaros, #28, #29, #30 and #49, with no drivetrain installed, to act as literal test beds for the drive train component testing.
This was all happening simultaneously with GM's first major foray into electric cars with General Motors Electrovair concept. Most car-loving enthusiasts have at least heard about the Electrovair program that was released to the public in 1966, but what was almost lost to history until recently was just how involved GM was in making the electric car of today a reality.
Thanks to the efforts of Logan Lawson and the team of the Pilot Car Registry, we are now finding out that GM really believed in electric cars many decades back, and only due to infrastructure and battery technology that just simply was not available yet, it never took off, until recently was evidenced behind the Chevy Volt and Bolt.
The findings of Logan and the Pilot Car Registry team are so astounding and truly eye-opening that 7/79 Video and the team behind "Norwood: Where Legends Were Born" is partnering with Mr. Lawson to bring this story to life in a separate and thrilling documentary project all about where the modern electric car really started.
*Documents are still under review of the Pilot Car Registry team and 7/79 Video and will be released upon distribution of the new as yet untitled documentary project.