Wooden casket inside a funeral car

The World’s First Car Funeral Came with a Silver Lining

Most people were up in arms when General Motors recalled all EV1 leases and then had them crushed in the desert. Most people don’t realize that cars later turned into raw materials to create new vehicles.

Watching the tow bring a beloved car to an auto wrecking yard such as Western Auto Wrecking might spike a twinge of pain and regret. They are taking a vehicle that holds a special place in your life and delivering it to a crusher. Fortunately, you still have all the memories snuggled up safely in your mind and can retrieve them at will.

It’s common for car enthusiasts to have quite the attachment to their rides. In 2003, the world bore witness to what amounted to be the first car funeral in California.

A Novel Approach

In a bid to rid the world of its over-reliance on petroleum-powered cars, General Motors began exploring the idea of building electric vehicles. In 1996, after years of research, the car manufacturer introduced the EV1 to the motoring community in the U.S. As expected, motorists were ecstatic about the possibility of riding electric cars.

The EV1 was capable 0-60 mph in eight seconds and could cover 70-100 miles on a single charge. Although it was only available on lease, the car proved to be a hit with company. The going rate was between $399 and $549 a month depending on your location. Due to the limited production batch, the car wasn’t nationally available.

A Billion-Dollar Blackhole

Despite what the company executives called a wonderful-maniac following from the EV1 drivers, the car was expensive to produce. Initially, the costs were estimated to be between $80,000 and $100,000. An insider revealed that it cost GM quarter of a million dollars to produce one EV1. The highest lease on the car didn’t exceed $550.

From a financial standpoint, the car was an economic disaster that made the company scrap the program in 2003. General Motors recalled all EV1s, much to the chagrin of enamored environmentally conscious drivers. It was at the backdrop of this information that these drivers made history in the world.

The World’s First Car Funeral

Brown wooden casket in the funeral car“She died before her time, in perfect health, and perhaps when she was most needed,” eulogized Chris Paine, an acclaimed filmmaker who organized the event. More than 100 people attended the EV1 funeral that was held in July 2003, three months before the August return deadline set by the company.

In attendance were 15 sleek-looking EV1 that had ironically turned up for their own funerals. One was even decked out in the full attire of a grieving widow.

Why Crush Cars?

Shortly after recalling all the cars, General Motors then had them crushed save for about 100 units that were donated to museums and learning institutions. Undoubtedly, most of the cars made a comeback in the form of other vehicles after being crushed to smithereens.

Recycling provides car manufacturers with cheaper raw materials that enable them to produce more affordable rides. Therefore, shipping your old vehicle to a wrecking yard results in a better world. It lowers the amount of mining effort necessary to feed the manufacturing sector in the country.