In the mid-1990s, American Electric Power (AEP) began testing electric vehicle technologies and incorporating a number of test vehicles into its fleet. This 1996 Solectra S-10 pickup once served the company’s Roanoke, Virginia and Kingsport, Tennessee, operations. S-10 pickups are made by Chevrolet.
AEP has also been active in developing infrastructure to support the deployment of electric vehicles.
Because this pickup is an early version of an electric vehicle, it is limited in its range of travel. It also requires an overnight charge to fully restore its 24 12-volt deep-cycle batteries similar to those used in golf carts.
- Powertrain: 24 12-volt deep-cycle batteries
- Range: 50 miles
- Top speed: 70 miles per hour
Donated by American Electric Power (AEP)
- Production (Model Years) 1997-1998
• Class – Compact pick-up truck
• Body style – Pick-up truck
• Layout – Transverse front-engine, front-wheel drive
• Platform – GMT 325
• Related – GM EV1 & Chevrolet S-10
“Interestingly, the truck is little more than a GM EV1 in an S10 wrapper: the entire electric powertrain was lifted from the infamous coupe and placed, front-wheel-drive and all, into the S10’s body.; The integration is seamless – fuel gauges now read for the battery charge level, while directional changes are managed (surprise!) by the column shifter.” Automobiling.com – Aug 13, 2008 – By Evan McCausland
Chevrolet S-10 EV
The Chevrolet S-10 Electric was an American electric-powered vehicle built by Chevrolet. It was introduced in 1997, updated in 1998, and then discontinued.
It was an OEM BEV variant of Chevrolet’s S-10 pickup truck. The S-10 Electric was solely powered by electricity, and was marketed primarily to utility fleet customers.
General Motors started with a regular-cab, short-box (6-foot (180 cm) bed) S-10 pickup, with a base-level trim package plus a half-tonneau cover. In place of a typical inline four cylinder or V-6 internal combustion engine, the Electric S-10 EV was equipped with an 85-kilowatt (114 hp) three-phase, liquid-cooled AC induction motor, based on GM’s EV1 electric coupe. The EV1 had a 100 kW motor; GM reduced the S-10EV’s motor because of the additional weight and drag of the truck so as not to overstress the batteries.
Other than the reduced motor size, most of the EV1 power electronics were carried over directly to the S-10 EV, which mandated that the Electric S-10 use a front-wheel-drive configuration, unlike the rear-wheel-drive setup of the standard S-10, and in the competing Ford Ranger EV.
Similar to the Gen 1 EV1’s, there were lead acid battery and nickel–metal hydride battery options. The 1997 Chevrolet S-10 EV used a lead acid battery pack. Manufactured by Delco Electronics, the 1,400 lb (635 kg) pack consisted of 27 batteries, with one being designated as an “auxiliary” cell. These reportedly offered 16.2 kilowatt-hours for propulsion. In 1998, an Ovonic nickel–metal hydride battery (NiMH) pack was also available; these batteries were lighter (1,043 lb (473 kg)) and had a combined 29 kilowatt-hours of storage for a longer range. NiMH also has longer life but costs more than the lead acid option. The battery pack was located between the frame rails, beneath the pickup bed. On all battery types, a passive battery monitoring and management system was used; this meant that excess energy was wasted from cells with a higher charge, while the remainder of the cells reach the same state of charge.
The S-10 EV charges using the Magne Charger, produced by the General Motors subsidiary Delco Electronics. The inductive charging paddle is the model J1773 or the ‘large’ paddle. The small paddle can also be used with an adapter to properly seat it. The standard charger is a 220 V 30 A (6.6 kW); there is also a 110 V 15 A ‘convenience’ charger, and a high-power fast-charge version. The vehicle’s charging port is accessed by flipping the front license plate frame downwards. The system is designed to be safe even when used in the rain.