Sunday, January 27, 2013

EV Rarity: 1980 Jet Industries Electravan (Subaru Sambar)

Meme face added to protect owner's privacy.

Compare size to a modern "minivan"

In the late 1970s, at the beginning of a second fuel crisis, a company in Austin, Texas saw an opportunity in importing engineless "glider" versions of the Subaru Sambar, a vehicle that had failed marvelously less than a decade before in an earlier iteration, then converting them to electric power. The finished product was a tiny 5-seater minivan with a short electrical power range and a diesel-fueled heater/defroster, that sold poorly and was withdrawn after a few years and not many made.

Here we have an updated, fully working, presentable 1980 Jet Electravan, for sale by an owner who seemingly knows his stuff, despite its short range and odd looks, it is still a great piece of EV history and a good alternative to a Zapcar, Kandi Coco or Zenn, since unlike those, the Electravan can go more than 25mph and is built well. However, there is no known tax credit for buying a classic EV. Replacing the existing bank of salvaged batteries will give a greater range and increase its reliability, but may be costly.

Find it here for $5000 in St. Paul, Minnesota (or go here if ad disappears)

Here is a video of an Electravan, showing us what it's all about. (not the vehicle on offer)

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