One of 60 rare Chevrolet S-10 EV’s not crushed by General Motors was found somewhere in Georgia, its new owner promising to give it a second life.
One look at this 1997 Chevrolet S-10 picked up by Indiana resident Keith Dillman and you wouldn’t bat an eye at it, that is until you see the “electric” decal on both sides. Keith managed to score a rare, one of 60 sold, Chevrolet S-10 EV from a local government auction for less than $2,000.
Check out photos of his rare find via S10 Connection on Facebook below.
According to Keith, this particular Chevrolet S-10 EV started its life as a fleet vehicle for Robins Air Force Base in Georgia before finding its second home at the University of Georgia in Tifton. From there, this electric truck found its way to a government auction where it was scooped up by Keith who originally was looking for semi-trucks.
“At first I assumed it was some homemade job done by the school but the front spoiler looked way too factory. (They has a few bad pictures and not much of a write up to verify anything) Then I ran the VIN and was amazed when it came back Chevy S10 Electric! So with the very limited pics and info I decided if it goes cheap I’ll buy it.“
Final sale price, just $1,800.
There’s a fascinating history surrounding these one-off S-10’s converted to EV’s from the factory by GM. These retrofitted S-10’s were built around the same time GM was developing, manufacturing, and leasing its EV1 coupe.
Unlike the EV1, these S-10 EV’s were sold as fleet vehicles directly to customers and not leased. Of the 490ish leased or sold, only 60 escaped the crusher.
With limited driving range and smaller hauling capabilities compared to its gas cousin, these arguably impractical electric trucks were mostly sold to city and government outfits.
For 1997, Chevrolet S-10 EV’s had period correct lead-acid batteries providing a combined total 16.2 kWh. 1998 S-10 EV’s switched to nickel metal hydride batteries for 29 kWh of potential energy.
Depending on what drive cycle you used, you could expect between 33-45 miles on lead-acid batteries or 72-100 miles for the better nickel-metal hydride.
Top speed is just 70 MPH.
Surprisingly, all S-10 EV’s are front wheel drive.
Optional was a small diesel heater with a tiny 1.7 gallon diesel tank. If you pop open the fuel door, you’ll find a filler cap for diesel.
According to Keith, the lead-acid batteries no longer hold a charge but he plans to swap in some lithium ion batteries to double the driving range.
Even if he got those lead-acid batteries up to snuff, with only 45 miles of range, these S-10 EV’s are sort of useless beyond a city vehicle. With double the driving range, longer trips without range anxiety are possible.
With all this press for the new Tesla Cybertruck, it’s interesting to find out about these progenitors, a few, like this S-10 EV and Ford Ranger EV, that are still kicking around today.
Enjoy some social media and videos I found of running S-10 EV’s.